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Full text of "The trial of Frank James for murder. With confessions of Dick Liddil and Clarence Hite, and history of the "James gang""

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Frank James 












Mrs. Charles Friesell- 

From picture taken in 1871, 









Water Works Building, Kansas City, Mo. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, ic the year eighteen hundred and 

ninety-eight, by 


In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 




HE editor of this volume has taken great 
pains to make the account here given 
of the trial of Frank James, a true and 
complete narrative of the proceedings 
had. It gives all the evidence in an 
abridged and readable form; this being done for the 
benefit of the reader, as it would have been very tire- 
some for any one to have attempted to read all the 
evidence verbatim. We have selected two speeches 
out of the eight delivered by the attorneys in the case, 
— one on each side of the case, and these speeches are 
here printed in full, and are worthy of the attention of 
any reader. In the confessions of Dick Liddil and 
Clarence Hite, here published, the reader will observe 
that there are parts omitted. That which is omitted in 
Liddil's confession is only a repetition of what is given 
in his testimony; and that omitted from Kite's confes- 
sion is a repetition of the details given by Liddil. The 
history here given is a brief account of the organization 
of the "James Gang" from the close of the war to its 
final downfall, giving the principal depredations com- 
mitted by it and how its final destruction was accom- 
plished. This is not a detailed account of their lives 
and exploits, as such an account would make a large 
volume in itself, but is a brief history given for the 
benefit of the readers of the Trial, and gives only facts. 




In the town of Gallatin, Daviess county, Missouri, 
on July 31, 18S3, begun the most exciting trial ever 
held in the West, the trial of Frank James, the noted 
outlaw, for the murder of Frank McMillan during the 
robbing of a Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific passenger 
train, at Winston, Missouri, July 15, 1S81. The town 
was filled with people who had come from hundreds 
of miles around to attend the trial; a majority of them 
were friends of the James boys and the balance were 
against them, as there was no neutral ground. Many 
of those in attendance were known to be desperate 
men and it was fully expected there would be blood- 
shed before the trial was ended ; there being many 
rumors of old feuds to be settled, of plots to rescue the 
prisoner, etc. Excitement was at fever heat. Many 
depredations had been committed in that part of the 
country within a few preceding years, most of which 
had been attributed to the James gang. In this same 

6 . The Case Called. 

town a bank had been robbed in iS6S and the cashier 
killed ; supposed to have been done by the James boys. 
Frank James had surrendered about a year before to 
Governor Crittenden and placed in jail at Indepen- 
dence, Missouri, where he remained until the trial at 
Gallatin, where it was decided by the State authorities 
to try him, although there had been a number of in- 
dictments found against him at other places in the 


The indictment was returned by the grand jury of 
Daviess county in May, 1883, and by agreement of the 
attorneys, August 21, was fixed as a date for the trial. 
Court convened promptly at 10 a. m., on that day and 
the case of State v. Frank James was called. The 
State was represented by attorneys W. P. Hamilton, 
prosecuting attorney of Daviess county; William H. 
Wallace, of Kansas City, Missouri; J. H. Shanklin, of 
Trenton, Missouri; and M. A. Low, of Trenton; H. 
C. McDougal and J. F. Hiclin, of Gallatin, advisory 
counsel. The defendant was represented by Judge 
John F. Philips, of Kansas City; Wm. H. Rush, of 
Gallatin; Judge James H. Slover, of Independence, 
Missouri; Hon. John M. Glover, of St. Louis; Hon. 
Chas. P. Johnson, of St. Louis; Col. C. T. Garner, 
of Richmond, Missouri, and J. W. Alexander, of Gal- 
latin. Judge Goodman on the bench. 

The State announced ready for trial. The defense 
stated that several of its witnesses had not yet arrived 

The Case Called. 7 

and a continuance was had until i p. m. and at i p. m. 
another postponement was had until the next morning. 
After the announcement that the case would go over 
until the next morning, Judge Goodman made a short 
but pointed, address to the crowd in which he told 
them what was expected of them during their attend- 
ance upon the trial ; that order would be preserved at 
all hazard, and took occasion to very deliberately 
assert that the court was fully able to protect its dignity 
and the persons of its audience, and therefore '*any 
person detected in the court room with weapons on, 
will be surely, swiftly and to the full extent of the law 
punished." The Judge further stated that for the 
accommodation of the populace the trial would be con- 
ducted in the opera house, and that to prevent incon- 
venience and provide for the safety of the audience the 
sheriff would issue tickets of admission not to exceed 
the seating capacity of the house. When court was 
convened in the opera house, the judge occupied a seat 
at the front of the stage ; back of him were the press 
correspondents and a large number of ladies and the 
court officials. Just in front of the stage was a large 
space railed off for the attorneys engaged in the case, 
the jury and the bar. The jury panel having been 
called, the examination of the jury and making chal- 
lenges occupied the time until the morning of August 
25, when the trial was actually begun. The jury hav- 
ing been selected, the witnesses were all called and 
sworn, eighty-nine for the state and thirty-nine for the 
defense ; and after having been sworn were all excluded 
from the court room. 

Opetiing Statement. 


Mr. Wm. H. Wallace made the opening state- 
ment for the state. 

MR. Wallace's statement. 

The court announced that time would be allowed 
each side to present or make its statement of the case 
to the court and jury, whereupon Mr. Wallace pre- 
sented the case for the state. In brief, Mr. Wallace 
said that while criminal practice allowed him to make 
a statement of the magnitude of the crime, and set 
forth facts that would even augment the heinousness 
of the crime charged against the defendant, but, con- 
tinued Mr. Wallace, I will not pursue this course, but 
merely put forth the facts that will corroborate the 
facts alleged in the indictment. Perhaps, remarked 
Mr. Wallace, this may be a mistaken course on my 
part. However, he thought it sufficient to refer only 
to the irrefutable and overwhelming testimony that 
would be produced against the defendant. There 
might be some of the jury who admired the exploits of 
the accused, his chivalric deeds, his expertness, and 
other characteristics that had made him famous, and 
such would regard it as a privilege for such a poor and 
obscure person as McMillan to be shot down by an 
individual of such great fame as the accused, but he, 
Mr. Wallace, would not tax the intelligence of the jury 
with such a suspicion, nor would it be right to attribute 
such a sentiment to any other intelligent and law-abid- 

opening Statement. 9 

ing citizen. A reader ot yellow-covered literature 
might get into a morbid state of mind that would per- 
mit such attributes to be attached to the defendant. 

Following this, Mr. Wallace read the indictment, 
charging Frank James with complicity in the Winston 
robbery and the murder of McMillan. He then, in 
turn, graphically described how the train was signaled 
and stopped ; how, in turn, each step of the rob- 
bery and the tragedy of Winston was enacted. 
The particulars were given in detail, every point mi- 
nutely mentioned, and it was avowed that each in turn 
would be proved beyond the possibility of a doubt by 
the prosecution. That was the purpose of the prose- 
cution, Mr. Wallace said. 

The story, as told in all the particulars, was a 
repetition of the affair made familiar to the public 
through the press. Coming to the point involving 
Frank's connection with the robbery and tragedy, Mr. 
Wallace said that five men were engaged in the double 
crime. Evidence would be adduced to show that Frank 
James, Jesse JSmes, Wood Hite, Clarence Hite and 
Dick Liddil were the parties. Frank and Jesse James 
and Wood Hite entered the cars, and Dick Liddil and 
Clarence Hite had charge of the engine. With this 
assertion, Mr. Wallace next stated it was proper to 
refer to the James band, its organization and the pur- 
poses of its organization. Thereupon Mr. Wallace 
related that the band was organized in Tennessee for 
the purposes of robbery. In 1877, Frank and Jesse 
James, with their families, moved to northern Ten- 
nessee, and subsequently went to living in Nashville. 

lO O petting Stoteinent. 

There the band was organized. It consisted of seven, 
Frank James was the oldest member. Next was Jesse 
James. Then followed a description of Jesse James. 

Frank went under the name of B. J. Woodson 
and Jesse as J. D. Howard. 

Wood Hite was named as a member of the gang 
and described. 

Dick Liddil was next mentioned and described. 

Bill Ryan was another. 

Jim Cummins was another. 

Ed Miller was another. 

The three last, Mr. Wallace averred, were not 
members of the band when the Winston robbery took 

Mr. Wallace gave a history of each individual, 
and was interrupted by Colonel Philips, who objected 
to the statement as setting forth matters not alleged in 
the indictment; and evidence on such points would be 
irrelevant and inadmissible. 

The court said the question was whether a con- 
spiracy could be proved when not alleged to make out 
a crime charged. He was ready to hear arguments 

Colonel Philips presumed the question would 
come up again and then could be argued and disposed 
of ; meantime he filed an exception to the court's ruling, 
that the statement could continue in the vein as started. 

Mr. Wallace continuing, told how the band came 
to leave Nashville or that vicinity. Bill Ryan left 
Nashville, where he went under the name of Tom 
Hill, to visit the Hites' near Adairville. Enroute he 

opening Statement. \ i 

got drunk, threatened the life of a justice of the peace, 
was arrested, and the plunder on his person aroused 
suspicion. News of Ryan's arrest alarmed Frank alias 
B. J. Woodson, Jesse James alias J. D. Howard, and 
Dick Liddil alias Smith, and they left. 

Then Mr. Wallace followed them on their jour- 
ney ; told how Clarence Hite joined the gang. As 
evidence Mr. Wallace set forth that a box of guns was 
shipped from Nashville to John Ford at Lexington, Mis- 
souri and thence reshipped to Richmond. John Ford was 
a brother of Bob and Charlie Ford, and is now dead. 
Another part related was that the James boys' families 
left Tennessee just after their husband, and among 
their traps was a sewing machine belonging to Mrs. 
Frank James, which was shipped to Pope City, it being 
her intention to meet General Shelby. 

Then followed a statement setting forth th at the 
gang rendezvous at Mrs. Samuels' residence near Kear- 
ney and at Mrs. Bolton's in Ray county, she being the 
sister of the Ford boys. 

Mr. Wallace then came to the point and announced 
the fact that Dick Liddil would be a witness to these 
facts. A conspiracy, or such a band could only be dis- 
covered or broken up by one of its members. Liddil's, 
surrendered under promises of exemption from the 
consequences of his crimes, has accomplished this. 

However, Mr. Wallace claimed that there would 
be testimony introduced, the testimony of respectable 
citizens of Daviess county, who had seen Frank in this 
county about the time of the Winston robbery. He 
was seen, known and recognized by him, and though 

12 The Testhuony. 

he wore burnside whiskers at the time, they would 
swear to his identity now. All this formed circum- 
stantial evidence, but an unbroken chain strong enough 
to award the punishment due the defendant for the out- 
rage and crime against law and life at Winston. 


A pensioner's story. 

The first witness was John L. Penn who stated 
that he resided in Colfax, Iowa. He then told the story 
of the Winston robbery. He with several others, 
among whom were Frank McMillan, got on at Winston. 
They belonged to the' stonemason gang. Old man 
McMillan got on too. It was about 9 o'clock. Just 
as they got on, three men entered the door. Westfall, 
the conductor, was putting checks in their hats. The 
party were standing up receiving their checks. The 
three men came in with a revolver in each hand. They 
rushed up to our crowd and said something, but just 
what, I don't know. Then two shots were fired, one 
going through Westfall. He rushed to the rear end 
of the smoking car, the three men following and firing. 
Westfall got out on the platform and fell off. The 
men then returned to the front end of the car, 
and as they passed us, or just as they went out 
at the front door, Frank McMillan and I went out 
the rear door. Just then two shots were fired. 
I looked through the glass of the door and a shot shiv- 
ered the glass. I saw a man on the front end of the 

The Testimony. 13 

car; he seemed to be watching and shooting through 
the car every few minutes. Frank McMillan and I, on 
the platform, sat down pretty close. Just then he 
heard a man halloo in the car. At this time three or 
four shots were fired. The train was going east, and 
the man was at the front end, and the shot went through 
the car. Frank heard the man call out, and said, "it 
its father," and jumped up, and just then he was shot 
above the eye and fell off the platform. I tried to catch 
him, but couldn't. The train was going slow at this time. 
The train slacked up near the switch, and at this time 
some man cried out to move on, and the train pulled out 
slow for three-quarters of a mile, when it stopped. 
Then three men jumped off the train, like off the bag- 
gage car, on the south side, passed me on the platform 
of the smoking car, went south of the track and disap- 
peared in a hollow. There was shooting in the bag- 
gage car; several shots were fired. There were per- 
haps thirty to forty people in the car during the firing. 
They got down under the seats as best they could. The 
man who stood on the front platform shot through the 
glass of the door; it was shut, as was the back door, 
and the glass in the back door was pretty badly shat- 
tered. Witness stated that after the robbers had 
abandoned the train, he, McMillan, the old man and 
another, went back on the track to look for them, Mc- 
Millan and Westfall. We found McMillan on the 
south side of the track in the ditch dead. Before find- 
ing him we met a hand-car with twelve men on it; they 
helped us in our search. We found McMillan about 
half a mile from the depot. Westfall was found before 

14 The T'esHfnony. 

we got there, on the north side of the track dead, and 
not very far from the section house. 


The cross-examination was conducted by Governor 
Johnson, Witness did not remember the number of 
cars on the train. There was a coach after the smoker, 
and witness thinks a baggage and express car in front 
of the smoker. During the business, witness saw three 
men only. Witness remembers nothing by which he 
could identify the men. He recollected nothing as to 
their dress directly by which they could be identified. 
They were dressed in long linen dusters, had the collars 
turned up, and white handkerchiefs about their necks. 
They were not masked exactly, but masked so they 
couldn't be identified, by having their hats pulled well 
down over their faces. Witness was excited when he 
gave his testimony before the coroner, or agitated, and 
he believed he had the facts of the occurrence in mind 
better now than then. When witness took his seat on 
the rear platform, the three men, he thought, were in 
the baggage car, judging from the shooting. There 
was one man on the front platform at any rate. Wit- 
ness stated no attempt was made to rob him or McMil- 
lan, or, as far as he knew, no attempt was made to rob 
any one in the car. 

The cross-examination was all about the shots fired, 
and just when, and to show that they were not fired at 
anybody. Witness said that he thought they were fired 

The T'esti?nony. 15 

to scare, and that when McMillan looked in the shot 
struck him, and shots were fired before and after 
he was killed. The design was to show that 
there was no intent to kill McMillan, or anybody 
else, and that the firing was directed against no 
one. Witness could not say which one of the three 
men fired the shot that killed McMillan. Witness 
roughly guessed that the whole transaction transpired 
within half an hour. 

The cross-examination continued at some length, 
but developed nothing in addition to the prosecution 
excepting the point named above. 

On re-examination witness said McMillan lived in 
Colfax, Iowa, had a wife, and was on his way home when 
he was killed. Witness's recollection was that the man 
who did the shooting through the car was a big man, 
and the same who killed Westfall. 

THE engineer's STORY. 

Addison E. Wallcott was the next witness. He 
was engineer on the train at Winston. The train left 
at 9:30; it was dark. He got a signal to stop shortly 
after leaving station. Somebody called out to go 
ahead. Witness looked around to see who gave the 
order, and two men jumped down off the coail in the 
tender. They had revolvers and ordered me to go 
ahead. And they told me to keep it going or they 
would shoot. They told me to stop at a tank in a hol- 
low. They said they didn't want to hurt me, but would 
do so if I didn't obey orders. While going down my 
fireman and me went around the engine, jumped off 

1 6 The Testiinony. 

and got on the third car, and there saw the express 
messenger and two ladies standing up. The rest were 
under the seats. I asked if they had left the train, and 
the baggageman and I went into the baggage car. The 
men who came on the engine were dark, good-sized 
men. It was so dark I could not see them plainly. 
Witness heard five or six shots in the baggage car. 
Witness did not remember the size of the train nor what 
it consisted of. The operation of the air brake was ex- 
plained. The first stoppage was about two thousand 
yards from the station and the next two miles. Witness 
didn't know who applied the brake the last time. 

The cross-examination developed nothing new, nor 
anything contradictory to the evidence given on the ex- 
amination in chief. The witnesses stated the two men 
on the engine did not leave it while the firing was going 
on, and knew nothing of what was going on at the rear 
of the train. 

THE baggageman's STORY. 

Frank Stamper was the next witness. Witness was 
baggageman. The baggage car and express car were 
together and next to the engine ; the express agent was 
on the car. Witness related that train coming t» stop, 
he stepped in the side door with his light, and he was 
grabbed by the leg and pulled out, and a man pulled a 
revolver on me and told me to stand still. The train 
then moved on, and running I got on it, and passing 
through the passenger coach and sleeper, the passen- 
gers asked me what was the matter, and I said, "rob- 
bers." The train consisted of a sleeper, three coaches, 

The Testimony. 17 

a smoking car and baggage car. Witness said the men 
came up to the side of the car on the north side, four 
or five, or six of them. They said "come out." No 
shots were fired until he got out, then there were shots 
in the smoking car and in the baggage car. Westfall 
was the conductor. Witness saw Westfall at the sta- 
tion last. Witness stated the train stopped the last time 
two miles from the station, and there the robbers left 
the train. 

On cross-examination witness reiterated the story 
without any material change as to facts. 

On re-examination witness said he had his light in 
his hand. He saw one of the men distinctly when he 
came up to the door and pulled him out. The man had_ 
a long gray beard, wore a gray vest and white shirt. 
He was the same man that stood guard over him. 

On re-cross-examination, witness said the man was 
a rather tall and slender man. He was not masked. 
Not any of them were, that he noticed, and witness 
would have noticed it. There was no masking unless 
they wore false beards. 


Charles M. Murray resides at Davenport, Iowa, 
Vi^as on the train at the Winston robbery, and was ex- 
press agent of the U. S. Ex. Co. When a short distance 
from Winston the train was stopped and the baggage 
master rushed to the door to see what was the matter, 
and was pulled out. I heard some firing, and there 
was some sample trunks there and I dropped behind 


i8 The Testimony. 

them. The train moved on and then stopped again. 
Then a man came in and demanded my money. He 
asked where the safe was, and I showed him ; he de- 
manded the key; I gave it to him, and then he directed 
me to open the safe. I did so and he got the money, 
or I gave it to him, I don't know which. He asked me 
repeatedly if that was all. He said they had killed the 
conductor, were going to kill me and the engineer, and 
ordered me to get down on my knees. Ididn't. He told 
me again, but I didn't, and he struck me over the head 
and knocked me unconscious. I didn't come to until 
the baggagemaster came to my relief. Witness didn't 
know how much money or treasure was taken. Wit- 
ness declared the packages taken, but could not tell 
anything as to their value; nor could he remember the 
number. Witness saw three men (robbers) all told, 
and two came into the express car. 

During the examination of this witness, the state 
tried several times to have a description of the pack- 
ages taken given, especially as to their value, and the 
defense objecting, the court over-ruled the objection 
very peremptorily, and Governor Johnson took excep- 
tions just as shortly. 


Dr. D. ^I. Cloggett, coroner of Daviess county 
at the time of the Winston robbery, described the 
wound on McMullen's body and stated he died from 
the wound inflicted by a pistol or pointed instrument 
half an inch above the right eye. 

The Testimony in 

Dr. Brooks was called, and, just as he was taking 
the witness stand, an amusing incident occurred. It 
was discovered by the prosecution that Dr. Cloggett 
had given his testimony without being sworn; so he 
had to be recalled, and under oath repeat all he had 
said before. 

Dr. Brooks was next called and corroborated the 
evidence of the preceding witness. 

Charles Murray, the express agent, was recalled, 
and stated that all packages received on that trip by 
him were placed in the safe, and were taken therefrom 
by the men (robbers). 

Recess until i :30 o'clock p. m. 


W. S. Earthman of Davidson county, Tennessee, 
was examined by Mr. Wallace. Nashville is in David- 
son county, and witness is back tax collector. Witness 
resides seven miles north of Nashville on Whita's 
creek. Witness knows defendant; saw him first in 
1S79, and became well acquainted with him at a horse 
race. Knew him as B. J. Woodson. Woodson re- 
sided on Smith's place, and after leaving there didn't 
know where he went, but saw him about Nashville up 
to the fall of 18S0. Never saw him after that. 

"Did you know Jesse James .''" 

Objected by defense as irrelevant. Objection 

Witness replied that he knew Jesse. Saw him at 
Frank's place, got acquainted with him at a horse race. 
Witness was not as well acquainted with Jesse as with 

20 The Tcstiiuony. 

Frank. Jesse went by the name of Howard, and 
doesn't recollect seeing him there later than the 
fall of 1879. Witness saw Frank and Jesse frequently 
together. He didn't know really who they were. 
Witness was here last June and saw defendant in court- 
yard, and they spoke. Frank, or Woodson, asked the 
witness if he had come up here to hang him. 

"Do you know one Tom Hill .''" 

Defense objected, and the state explained that 
while Hill was not named in the indictment, it was 
expected to show Hill was Bill Ryan and that his 
arrest caused the James gang to abandon Nashville, and 
it would be a link in the circumstances leading up to 
the Winston robbery. 


Governor Johnson briefly argued that the course 
pursued by the state was incompetent. The indict- 
ment charged especially a murder, and the defendant 
was here to meet that charge and not an irrelevant 
charge that a band of robbers existed here or there. 
Counsel apprehended that the existence of such a band 
in iSSo had nothing to do with the crime at issue. A 
specific allegation of conspiracy had not been charged 
in the indictment. 

At this juncture, the court ordered the jury to re. 
tire, and said the question might just as well be argued 
now and settled. 

Beginning the argument, Governor Johnson con- 
tended that conspiracy was a specific crime, the pun- 
ishment for which was especially provided for in the 

The Testiinony. 21 

statutes. A conspiracy is a substantive offense , the 
corpus delecti, or offense charge must be proved before 
the circumstances of the consummated offense can be 
put in proof. 

Col. Shanklin replied at length, elaborating his 
argument with frequent references to the books. 

Governor Johnson was eloquent and argumenta- 
tive in his reply. 

In rendering his decision, the court confessed that 
his attention had been called to this question previous 
to the trial by a disinterested attorney; and he had 
given it careful consideration. The court averred that 
he thought the testimony admissible, and aptly illus- 
trated his reasons therefor by several suppositious cases. 
The court overruled the objection, and decided to ad- 
mit the testimony. 


Col. Philips suggested that the testimony being 
offered should be carefully considered. It was doubt- 
ful in his mind that a conspiracy would be proved, but 
the state should be forced to produce its proof of the 
existence of a conspiracy before the introduction of 
evidence tending to affect the character of the defend- 
ant, or tending to show that he associated wtth men 
bearing a multiplicity of names. 

The court understood the difficulties of the situa- 
tion, but declared he could not direct the manner in 
which counsel introduced their evidence. 

At this the jury was recalled, and the examina- 
tion of Mr. Earthman continued. 

22 The Testimony. 

Witness said he knew a man by the name of Tom 
Hill, who after his arrest was known as Bill Ryan. 

Governor Johnson — "I object." 

The court — "It appears this testimony at this time 
is incompetent until the connection of Bill Ryan or Tom 
Hill with the Woodson or James gang is established." 

Mr. Wallace explained that the James gang robbed 
the Winston train, and that this James gang lived at 
Nashville, and that when Ryan was arrested they 
abandoned their field of operations about Nashville and 
came to Missouri, and he would trace them from Nash- 
ville, through Kentucky into Missouri, and into Daviess 

Governor Johnson took objection to his client be- 
ing called a rDbber. He was innocent until proven • 
guilty. The theory of justice was against such an ap- 
pellation. Moreover the court was not trying the 
James gang, or any band of conspirators. 

The court said this was not the time for flights of 
rhetoiic. He could understand a plain statement bet- 

Just what the court meant or whom he was knock- 
ing out, puzzled the audience. 

Mr, Wallace declared he was authorized to speak 
of the accused as a robber and murderer, for the indict- 
ment so charged. 

Colonel Philips next proceeded to score Mr. Wal- 
lace for using the term robber, and adjured the state 
to go to work and prove the conspiracy and make no 
more of it. 

The Testimony. 23 

Colonel Shankliii thought the scolding of the 
defense without grace or without cause. The state 
wanted no directions from the defense as to its con- 
duct of the case and could not be scolded out of its 

The discussion became so hot that the court had 
finally to order the wrangling counsel to cease. 


Mr. Earthman, the witness, continuing, told of 
the arrest of Bill Ryan. When arrested he was armed 
and had $1,400 on his person. Ryan was afterward 
taken to the Nashville jail. This arrest was made on 
the 25th of March, iSSi. 

" Witness did not know Dick Liddil. Ryan rode a 
gray horse to the place where he was arrested. 

On cross-examination witness said he had known 
defendant for about two years. He was working on 
his farm. Woodson worked for witness during one 
summer, and was constantly at work. Woodson asso- 
ciated with good people, and witness never saw him 
with Bill Ryan or Hill. 

Governor Johnson next asked what was his char- 
acter there, and hastily withdrew it. 

James Moffat testified : I have lived at Nashville 
ever since the war; am depot-master of the Louisville 
and Nashville Railroad ; I knew B. J. Woodson at 
Nashville during the year iSSo; I saw him frequently 
during that summer and fall ; I remember Bill Ryan's 
arrest; don't think I ever saw Woodson there after 

24 The Testivjonv. 

that, but saw him just before ; I knew J. B. Howard ; 
he lived a square and a half from me; he had a wife 
and one child ; I lived on Fatherland street, in Edge- 
field, or East Nashville, and he lived on Watson street; 
I think Howard was buying grain for Rhea & Sons ; 
never saw Howard and Woodson together but once; it 
was a few days after March 30, 1S81, that I saw 
Woodson and a Mr. Fisher, on Cedar street, talking; 
never saw Howard there after the arrest of Bill Ryan. 

Cross-exa7nined : Had only a pool-room acquain- 
tance with Woodson, covering the summer and fall of 

Re-cross-exajnination : The man on trial before 
me is the B. J. Woodson that I knew. 

JoJm Trifnble^ Ji'"! testified: I live at Nash- 
ville, Tennessee; I have been in the real estate and 
fire insurance business for ten years past; I rented the 
house 814 Fatherland street, in Edgefield, in the first 
part of 1881, about February 5, to a man named J. B. 
Woodson; I have not recognized the man since I have 
been here ; he paid $8 per month in advance ; in March 
he paid $8, and our books show no receipt of rent 
since ; we sold the house about the twenty-first or 
twenty-second of March to J. B. May; we never re- 
ceived any notice that Woodson was going to quit the 

Jas. B. May testified: I am a pressman, and live 
in Nashville, Tennessee; I bought a house from Mr. 
Trimble March 22, 1881 ; it is located on Fatherland 
street, and is No. 814; it stands by itself, has three 
rooms on one floor, with a side porch ; I looked at the 

The Testimo7ty 25 

house before I rented it; saw a lady but no gentleman; 
this was a week before the twenty-second ; didn't move 
in at once, because I wasn't ready ; did not move into 
it till April, and then there was no one in it; never re- 
ceived any notice that the parties were going to leave ; I 
went over to see if they wished to continue renting it, 
and found they had gone. 

Mrs. Sarah E. Hite testified : I live near Hen- 
dersonville, Tennessee, with my father, Silas Norris, 
thirteen miles from Nashville. Have lived with my 
husband in Kentucky from 1874 until May last. I 
lived near Adairsville, Kentucky, which is about fifty 
miles north from Nashville. My husband had children 
when I married him. I know Wood Hite. He lived 
with us part of the time. There were seven children — 
four boys, named John, George, Wood and Clarence. 
We lived some two miles from town. Wood Hite was 
thirty-three years old. He is dead now^. He died near 
Richmond, Missouri, so I was told. I think he was 
buried there. Wood Hite was about five feet eight 
inches high, had dark hair and light blue eyes. He 
had a light mustache, Roman nose, narrow shoulders, 
a little stooped. He was inclined to be quick in his 
actions. I last saw him in November, 1881. I had 
seen him before that in September. He said he was 
going West. I have seen the defendant. The first 
time I saw him was on March 20, iS8i ; he came to my 
husband's house on the morning of that day. Dick 
Liddil came with him and Jessie James came after 
him. Frank was riding. Jesse and Dick were walk- 
ing. They did not tell me where they came from 

26 The Testimony, 

They were armed. Jesse had two pistols and a rifle, 
Frank had two pistols, and Dick had two pistols and a 
gun. They stayed at our house a day or two. 
Clarence and Wood and George Hite were there, too. 
I saw them after that on the twenty-sixth of April. 
That day Dick, Jesse, Frank and Wood came back. 
They were still armed. Some men pursuing them 
came near the house. Jesse and Frank were excited 
at this, and commenced preparing themselves. Dick 
got at the front door, Jesse at the window, and Frank 
was in the parlor. The men rode on by. Frank 
James came that time on the twenty-sixth of April and 
left on the twenty-seventh. I don't know where they 
went. Clarence Hite was twenty-one years old, tall and 
slender, blue eyes, light hair, large mouth, and one 
or two teeth out. He is dead. He died in Adairs- 
ville the tenth of last March. Clarence was then 
living in Adairsville, but he would come out when 
Jesse and Frank and Dick was there. He left home 
in May, 1881. He was in Missouri in the summer of 
1881. Wood Hite left home May 27, 1881. He and 
Clarence did not leave together, but left a few days 
apart. Next saw Clarence in September ; stayed there 
till November, and I never saw him till he came home 
to die. Mr. Hite was related to Jesse Jame^. His first 
wife was Frank James' aunt. 

This witness was not cross-examined. 

Silas Norris testified: I live at Mechanicsville, 
Sumner County, Tennessee. Sumner county adjoins 
Davidson county on the east. In the summer of 1S81 
I was living in Logan county, Kentucky. Adairsville 

The Testimony. 27 

is in that county. I was living within a mile and a 
half of it at the place of Geo. E. Hill, my son-in-law. 
Our two families had been together three or four years. 
I knew Jesse James. I first got acquainted with 
him in March, iSSi, at Mrs. Kite's. I know 
Frank James. He was introduced to me by Jesse as 
his brother. I think Mr. Liddil was there also. 
Don't know where they came from. I didn't see any 
arms visible, but I saw some arms afterward. They 
stayed a short time and left. They came back, stayed 
a day or two, and went off for perhaps a week. Don't 
know where they went. I do not know where Samuels 
Station, Kentucky, is. When they came back the last 
time there were Jesse and Frank James and Dick Lid- 
dil in the party. Wood and Clarence Hite were 
away a portion of the summer. 

Cross-examined : Old man Hite is probably sixty- 
five or sixty-six years old. He is still living. 

James A. Liddil called as a witness. 


The defense at once objected to his testimony as 
incompetent, he being, as it was declared, an unpar- 
doned felon. 

It then transpired that Dick or James A. Liddil 
had served a term in the penitentiary for horse stealing, 
having been sentenced from Vernon county in Novem- 
ber of 1877. 

28 The Testimony. 

The prosecution admitted it, and, under the great 
seal (two bears) of the state of Missouri, and over the 
signature of Secretary of State McGrath, submitted the 
copy of a pardon for Dick, which the state deemed 
established his reliability as a competent witness. 

The pardon was as follows: 

dick's pardon. 

The State of Missouri, to all whom these presents shall 


Greeting — Know ye that by virtue of authority in 
me vested by law, and upon recommendation of the 
inspectors of the penitentiary, I, Henry C. Brockmeyer, 
lieutenant acting governor of the state of Missouri, do 
hereby release, discharge and forever set free James A. 
Liddil, who was, at the November term, A. D. 1877, 
by a judgment of the circuit court of Vernon county, 
sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary of this 
state for the term of three and one-half years, for the 
offense of grand larceny, and do hereby entitle the said 
James A. Liddil to all the privileges and immunities 
which by law attach and result from the operation of 
these presents. Conditional, however, that the said 
James A. Liddil, immediately upon his release, leave 
the county of Cole and never return thereto voluntarily, 
and does not remain in the county of Callaway. 

Witness June 30, 1S77, etc. 


The defense seemed tohave anticipated the situa- 
tion, and were prepared with a host of authorities to 

The Testimony . 29 

show that the law or text of opinions forbade the evi- 
dence of such as Dick Liddil. 

Hon. John M. Glover of St. Louis was put up to 
present the law, and made a strong and exhaustive argu- 
ment, replete with the citation of authorities. The 
points presented were about as follows: 

MR. glover's argument. 

Quoting, Mr. Glover said : Every person who shall 
be convicted of arson, burglary, robbery or larceny in 
any degree in this chapter specified, or who shall be 
sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary for any 
other crime punishable under the provisions of this chap- 
ter, shall be incompetent to be sworn as a witness or 
serve as a juror in any case, and shall be forever dis- 
qualified from voting at any election or holding any 
office of honor, trust or profit within the state, i Wag- 
ner's Missouri Statutes 1872, page 465. 

Section 1671, Revised Statutes, 1879: Pardon, 
effect of — When any person shall be sentenced upon a 
conviction for any offense, and is thereby, according to 
the provisions of this law, disqualified to be sworn as a 
witness or juror in any cause, or to vote at any election, 
or to hold any office of honor or profit or trust within 
this state, such disabilities may be removed by a pardon 
by the governor, and not otherwise. 

Article 5, section S, Constitution of Missouri, as to 
power to pardon being lodged in the governor. 

Under the above section and article of the consti- 
tution the governor can remit any part of the punish- 

30 The Testimony. 

ment. Perkins v. Stephens, 24 Pick. 277 ; State v. 
Foley, 15 Ver. 64. 

This paper is not a pardon, i. It shows on its face 
it is a mere commutation under the three-fourths rule 
of section 21, page No. 9S9, Revised Statutes of Mis- 
souri, 1872. Which section has been supplanted in 
Revised Statutes, 1879, by section 6533, page 1283. 

It is therefore merely a commutation under this 

An identical instrument with this is held not to 
restore competency in these cases. Black v. Rogers, 
49 Cal. 15; People v. Bovi^en, 43 Cal. 439; State v. 
Foley, 15 Nev. 64; Perkins v. Stephens, 24 Pick. 277. 

Liddil having been convicted, the infamy having 
attached, the same can only be removed by a pardon, 
and could not by an act of the legislature, because the 
disability is a part of the punishment. Evans v. State, 
63 Tenn. 13 ; State v. Foley, 15 Nev. 64 ; Long v. State, 
10 Tex. App. 197; Houghtaling v. Kelderhouse, i 
Parker's c. c. 241. 

No part of punishment can be remitted by the leg- 
islature, as this would be exercising the pardoning 
power, which in Missouri is lodged in the governor 
alone. State v. Sloss, 25 Missouri, 291. 

Hence the dropping of the disqualification to testify 
from the Revised Statutes of 1S79, section 1378 can 
not operate to restore this witness to competency. 

Section 1671, above cited, says the competency 
can be restored by a pardon alone. 

The Testimony. 31 

THE state's statement. 

Colonel Shanklin of counsel for the state followed. 
He maintained that the executive of the state, under the 
constitution, was empowered to commute a prisoner's 
sentence, pardon him or conditionally pardon him. 
There was no partial pardon provided for. It was plain, 
the colonel claimed, that the paper in issue was not a 
commutation. It was, therefore, a pardon — the gov- 
ernor being empowered to do only the two things, com- 
mute or pardon. 

With this, the colonel rested his case without refer- 
ence to authorities. 

Colonel Philips of counsel for the defense followed 
in a long, eloquent and able argument elaborating the 
law as previously presented by Mr, Glover. 

The court retired in company with ex-Judge and 
ex-Congressman De Bolt, in the character of an amicus 
curiae^ stating he wanted to consult regarding the ques- 
tion at issue. Returning, Colonel Philips spoke as 
recorded above, followed very briefly by Mr. Wallace, 
who merely cited authorities for the court to consider. 

The court was in doubt about the matter at issue, 
and to reflect over it and not be too hasty, as he said, 
in deciding so important a question, ordered an adjourn- 
ment until 1 130 o'clock. 

afternoon session. 
The court re-convencd at 1 130 o'clock. 

competent testimony. 
The court at once proceeded to say that he had 
carefully examined the question as presented by counsel, 

32 The Testimony. 

and in his opinion none of them had presented the case 
so strongly that it warranted him in excluding the 
testimony. The court then took up the authorities cited 
and reviewed them, and in turn failed to find their 
pointed application to the case at issue. The court 
contended that the word pardon was not necessarily a 
part or parcel of the pardon. No special form was re- 
quired, and words implying the same thing as pardon 
were all that was necessary. In regard to the paper at 
issue, the court declared it neither a reprieve, commu- 
tation nor the remission of a sentence. The governor 
intended to do something, and that something in this 
instance the court believed was the granting of a par- 
don. The face of it proved that, as it distinctly set 
forth, that the bearer went free, etc. The court stated 
that while the pardon was in effect granted, it did not 
dispose of the preliminary proof, or proof to show that 
the pardon in question was a correct and official instru- 


Following this decision a discussion arose as to the 
competency of the witness to prove or testify to the fact 
that the pardon was genuine, or that the transcript in 
court was a correct one of the pardon granted. 

Messrs Glover and Philips argued against it, hold- 
ing that the witness, so far as his status was established 
before the court, was only competent to testify to ma- 
terial facts in the case on trial, and not to his own com- 
petency or any instrument making him competent. 
Mr. Wallace held that he had been adjudged a com- 

llic Tcstitiioiiy. 33 

petent witness by the court, and as such could testify 
as to all facts regarding himself or the matter at issue. 
He cited authority to show that the testimony of the 
witness regarding his own pardon was sufficient in law 
without an exhibit of any instrument to that effect. 

The court held he, Liddil, was competent, and in- 
stanced the case of a witness under age who was ques- 
tioned as to his competency. 

Dick testified and stated he had been sent to the 
penitentiary for grand larceny in 1874 from Vernon 
county, and had been pardoned. He never was in the 
penitentiary but that time. Witness said he had torn 
up the pardon. 

Colonel Philips cross-examined the witness, who 
stated that he had been given the pardon by an officer of 
the penitentiary. Witness never looked at it and did 
not know its purport. 

Colonel Philips here submitted that no pardon was 
in proof. The witness did not know what the paper 
was; he was rnerely handed a paper, and that was all. 

The court proceeded to question the witness, but 
he could not remember who gave it to him. He 
thought it was a deputy warden, and it was handed him 
in the warden's office. 

To Colonel Philips the witness stated that he was 
told his time was out and the paper was his pardon. 
He never read it or knew its contents. 

To the court the witness said he tore the pardon 
up because it was of no use to him and he never showed 
it to anyone. He tore it up about ten minutes after he 


34 The Testimotiy. 

got it, and while on the way to the depot to take the 

The court apprehended the proof was sufficient. 

The defense excepted. The defense stated also 
that it would put in proof that the conditions of the par- 
don had been violated. 

Mr. Wallace admitted that Liddil had been to Cole 
county. He had been there twice, once with Sheriff 
Timberlake and once with Police Commissioner Craig, 
at the solicitation of the governor. He was there un- 
der authority. 

The defense stated it would offer such evidence. 
The court said it would be expected. 

DICK LIDDIL's story. 

Dick Liddil thus became a witness, and testified as 
follows : 


I am thirty-one years old. Was born and raised in 
Jackson county. I know Frank and Jesse James. 
First got acquainted with them in 1870, at Robert 
Hudspeth's, in Jackson county, eight miles from Inde- 
pendence, in Sinabar Township. The Hudspeths are 
farmers. I was working for them, first for Robert 
Hudspeth. I saw the James brothers there a dozen 
times or more from 1S70 to 1875. I saw them together 
sometimes and sometimes separate. I saw Frank and 
Jesse James, Cole and John Younger and Tom Mc- 
Daniel. I have seen two or three of them there to- 
gether — namely, Jesse James, John Younger and 

The Testiniony. 35 

James McDaniel ; never saw all five together ; they 
were generally armed and on horseback ; they would 
stay around there maybe a day and a night, or two 
nights, or maybe not more than two hours ; I supposed 
from what I heard and saw that they went together in 
a band. 

Objection being made to the wide range of the 
testimony, the court ruled that the State must confine 
itself to showing the preparation for a perpetration of 
the .robbery and murder at Winston. 

Witness further testified : There was a gang 
known as the James boys; I belonged to it at one time : 
I joined four years ago this fall, in the latter part of 
September, at Hudspeth's; I saw Jesse James at Ben 
Morrow's one day; Ben lives in Fort Osage Township ; 
I didn't go with him at once. I did afterward. The 
band was Jesse James, Ed. Miller, Bill Ryan, Tucker 
Basham and Wood Hite. That was in the fall of iSSo, 
in Jackson county, of this state. From there we went 
to six miles from Independence. I left shortly after 
that. The others left — that is, part went and part re- 
mained. Jesse James and Miller told me they went to 
Tennessee. I went to Tennessee in the summer of 
1880. . I went to Nashville. First I went to the High 
Ferry pike. I went with Jesse James. There we 
found Frank and Jesse James and their families. We 
stayed there two weeks. We remained in Nashville 
nearly a year after that. The others came there in the 
winter of 1880 — that is, Bill Ryan and Jim Cummings. 
Bill Ryan was from Jackson county. Bill Ryan, my- 
self and Jesse James went there together. That was my 

36 The Testimony. 

second trip. Ed. Miller was not there while I was 
there. Ryan and Miller stayed with Jesse. Cum- 
mings stayed with Frank awhile. Afterward they 
boarded with a lady named Kent. I last saw Ryan in 
the last of February, 1S81, about three weeks before I 
left Nashville. I don't know where he went He got 
up and left very mysteriously. I have never seen 
him since. Jesse James lived for a while with Frank 
on the High Ferry pike. Then he boarded with Mrs. 
Kent, and then moved to Edgefield. He moved 
there over with Frank on Fatherland street some time 
in February, 1881. Frank moved there the last of 
January or the first of February, into a brown frame of 
one story, with four rooms and a porch. The house 
was No. 814. It was rented from Lindsay. While 
Frank was living there, there were with him Jesse 
James, Jim Cummings, and Bill Ryan. Frank and 
Jesse and I left March 26, 1S81. Bill Ryan had been 
captured, and we took a scare and lit out. I had seen 
Bill the day he was captui'ed. He was going to 
Logan county, Kentucky, to old man Kite's. I first 
learned about his capture when I got a paper on Sat- 
urday describing Ryan's capture on Friday. We got 
ready and left about dark. 

We left on horseback. Frank had a horse of his 
own. Jesse and I captured a couple. We were 
twenty miles when those two horses gave out, and we 
got a couple more. We went to old man Hite's. We 
were armed. I had two pistols. Jesse and Frank had 
a Winchester rifle apiece, It was forty miles from 
Nashville to Mr. Hite's. We got there at sun-up. 

The Testimony . 37 

At the house we found Mr. Hite, wife and daughter; 
Mr. Norris, wife, and girl, and Wood Hite. Wc 
stayed there a week. There were some officers from 
Tennessee came after us. We went from thei'e to Mr. 
Hite's nephew's, three miles off — Frank, and Jesse, 
and Wood Hite and myself. We stayed there a week, 
and went back to the old man's. We were all armed. 
We remained there only one night, leaving on Sunday 
night for Nelson county, Kentucky, one hundred and 
fifty miles off. Frank and Jesse and I went up there 
on horseback. There was no one I knew when I got 
there. We stopped at Johnny Pence's, Bud Hall's and 
Doc Hoskins'. An arrangement was there entered 
into for robbery by myself, Frank and Jesse James, and 
Clarence Hite. Wood Hite came afterward. We 
first agreed to take the express where the train crossed 
the river. The river was high, and they had to trans- 
fer by boat. The river went down, and we got there 
too late, and we arranged to take a train here some- 
where. This was talked over at Bob Hall's. Wood 
Hite was there at his father's. This was the latter part 
of April or first of May, 18S1. Jesse's family at Nash- 
ville was a wife and one child. Frank's consisted of a 
wife and two children, living at Fatherland street. 
Jesse's wife came to Nelson county shortly after we 
got there. 

From there she said she was going to Missouri. I 
never saw her after that till Jesse was killed. Jesse 
told me she came to Kansas City. He told me he was 
renting a house in Kansas City. He told me this in the 
fall of i88i. I don't know about Frank's wife except 

38 The Testimony. 

that Jesse told me she came out on the train to Gen. 
Joe Shelby's at Saline. She brought a sewing ma- 
chine with her and gave it to her mother. Jesse first 
told me, and Frank told me afterward about it. That 
sewing machine was shipped to Gen. Shelby's; so 
Jesse told me, Jesse made some kick about Frank'? 
wife coming here, and Frank told me that it was all 
right, and that he told her to come and give the 
machine to her mother. This he told me on some 
road somewhere between here and her mother's. He 
objected because he said she told some things she 
ought not to. Her mother was Mrs. Ralston, and she 
lived some six miles from Independence. At Nashville 
Frank James went by the name of B. J. Woodson, 
Jesse was J. D. Howard, Rj-an was Tom Hill, and I 
was Smith, from Nelson county. Frank and Jesse 
shipped two guns by Johnny Pence to John T. Ford, 
at Lexington. They were a Winchester rifle and a 
breech-loading shot gun. Jesse and I came here to- 
gether on the cars to Kearney. in May, i88i. We 
came over the Hannibal and St. Joseph part of the 
way. We went from there to Mrs. Samuels'. Frank 
came out a week later on the following Saturday via 
the Louisville and Indianapolis. Mrs, Samuels is 
mother to Frank and Jesse James. She lived four 
miles from Kearney. I had been to her house before. 
Wood Hite came afterward. We found Clarence Hite 
here, he having come out with Jesse's wife to Kansas 
City, and then came to Mrs Samuels'. 

Wood Hite was not at Hall's when the plan for 
the robbery was made. The others left word where 

The Testhnony. 39 

they would meet him. Clarence Hite was twenty 
years old. Wood was thirty-three or thirty-four years 
of age. When in Missouri I don't think he wore 
whiskers. If he did they were thin and light. His 
name in the gang in Missouri I could not give. We 
had to change names many times. I was Joe. Frank 
was Ben in Tennessee and Buck here, and Jesse was 
Dave in Tennessee. From Mrs. Samuels' I went on 
the cars to Clay county, and went back on the cars. 
My horse I bought of Hudpeth. He was a chestnut 
bay, with several distinguishing marks. At Mrs. 
Samuels' I found Frank James and Wood and Clarence 
Hite. Jesse came along afterward. Jesse had bought 
a horse from his half-brother, Johnny Samuels. We 
started out in pursuance of an agreement about a week 
after. We four started on horseback — Frank, Jesse, 
Wood and myself. Clarence went on the cars to 
Chillicothe. We were going there to take a train. I 
rode the sorrel, Jesse rode a bay, and Frank and Wood 
Hite rode horses that Wood Hite and I took from a 
rack in Liberty. From Mrs. Samuels' we started to 
Ford's, in Ray county, and got there about three 
o'clock in the morning, and left there the next morn- 
ing. The Widow Bolton, sister of Charley Ford, 
lived there — a mile and a half southeast from Rich- 
mond. From there we went to Chillicothe, at a 
moderate gait all day. We got dinner on the way. At 
night we four stayed at a church on the prairie. We 
got to Chillicothe about ten, stopping a mile and a half 
from town in the timber. Wood Hite went in after 
Clarence, and found him, and Clarence came out with 

4© Tlic Testimony. 

him. The roads were so muddy that we went back, 
Jesse and myself to the old lady, Wood and Frank to 
the Fords', and Clarence to Mrs. Samuels' also. We 
stayed there three or four days. 

Shortly after this we started o;it again. Four 
went horseback and one on the cars. Wood going on the 
train. We came up to this county to look out a place 
to take a train. Frank was riding a roan pony. He 
took her at Richmond, and Wood Hite had a little bay 
mare, taken at the same time. Jesse and I had the 
horses we rode on the previous trip. The horses got- 
ten at Liberty were turned loose at Richmond. We 
started that night, and camped out before daylight 
somewhere in the woods. We were to meet Wood 
Hite at Gallatin. We stopped and had dinner with a 
Dutchman in a one-story frame close to the road, with 
a large barn one hundred yards from it. He had a 
family of five or six children. He had a number of 
fine cows, and sold milk at Kidder. I left my leg- 
gings there and had to go back after them. I reckon 
this place was ten or fifteen miles from Gallatin. At 
that time I had short whiskers all over my face. Jesse 
was five feet eleven inches and a half high, round face, 
pug nose, dark sandy whiskers and blue eyes. He 
weighed 195 pounds and stood very straight. Frank 
James had burnsides and mustache. His whiskers 
were darker than his mustache. From that German's 
we went to Gallatin, first stopping in the timber to 
wait for Wood Hite. This was almost a mile from the 
town, on the road to Winston. I have never been to 
the place since. 

The l^cstinwny. , 41 

\Vc met Wood there. Wc started back, Jesse 
got sick with toothache, and the creosote he used 
swelled his jaw and his face and he had to go back. 
Clarence went on foot, and Frank, Jesse, Wood and 
myself went on and stopped with a man named Wolf- 
enbcrger, some sixteen miles from there. I helped 
him load up a load of wood next morning. We had 
supper and breakfast there, and left next day. Clar- 
ence stayed somewhere else. Jesse was very sick and 
we had to wait on him. We started for Mrs. Samuels', 
and Jesse was so sick we had to stop at an old stock- 
man's. Wood Hite took the train to the old lady's 
and Clarence stayed with us. (Witness described the 
stockman's place, as he described every other place 
where they stopped, with great minuteness.) Jesse got 
the stockman to take him in a buggy to Hamilton 
depot. The others then started for Mrs. Samuels', 
but Prank and I went to Mrs. Bolton's, in Ray county. 
There was a week or ten days between the first and 
second trip. Frank and I stayed at Mrs. Bolton's a 
week, and then met Jesse, Clarence, and Wood at 
Mrs. Samuels'. In about a week or ten days we went 
on another trip. I rode the same horse as before; so 
did Jesse. Frank was riding a mare he got close to 
Elkhorn. We had a sorrel horse shod on the first trip 
by an old man. I remember a dog and stool there. 
The dog jumped upon and knocked down the stool, 
and the horse started, knocking over the blacksmith, 
and I had to bring the horseback to the shop. We had 
some difficulty in making change. On the last trip we 
all had horses. Frank rode the bay mare from Elk- 

42 The Testimony. 

horn. Wood rode a dark bay, taken by Frank and I 
from old man Frazier in Elkhorn. Frank rode the 
sorrel I had started on. 

We started at night. I assisted in robbing the 
Winston train on this trip. We started from Mr. Sam- 
uels' at dark, coming northeast to Gallatin. We rode 
till daylight, when we came into a skirt of timber, where 
we stayed all night till sunj-ise. I don't reckon we 
came over fifteen miles that night. Next day we scat- 
tered. Frank and Clarence went together, and I, Jesse 
and Wood Hite together. We three ate dinner at a 
white house on the road, with an old shed stable back 
of it. There we met Frank and Clarence late in the 
evening. That night we stayed in the timber where 
we next met Wood on the former trip. We didn't get 
supper that night. We left next morning. We left, 
Frank and Clarence together, Jesse and Wood together 
and I by myself, all going different routes. I got my 
horse shod in Gallatin on the last trip we were here. I 
can pick out the shop. It is off the square. It is an 
old frame shop. There is another shop right below. I 
had my horse shod all around. I also got a pair of 
fenders on the square to keep my horse from interfering. 
The saddler who sold them was a heavy man, with a 
dark mustache and a dark complexion. We had quite 
a little conversation over this trade. We were to meet 
about a mile from Winston. I got dinner on the way, 
and went on to meet the boys in a skirt of timber near 
where the road crosses the track. We waited till dark, 
hitched our horses and went up on foot to the train. 

The Testi7nony. 43 

Wood and I went together, and met Frank, Jesse and 
Clarence at the depot. 

The arrangement was as follows : that I and Clar- 
ence should capture the engineer, fireman and engine 
and start it or stop it as we might be directed by Jesse 
and Frank. Jesse, Frank and Wood were to get into 
the passenger cars and at the proper time rob the ex- 
press car. We carried out the program when the 
north bound C, R. I. & P. passenger train came 
along. After getting outside of town Clarence and 
I got up back of the tender, and went over on top 
to the engine. Wc had two pistols. We kept quiet 
till the train stopped; then we hollered to go ahead. 
We shot to scare those fellows, who both ran onto the 
pilot. The first run was about two hundred yards, then 
a stop. About this time one of the boys pulled the 
bell rope and the engineer stopped the train and firing 
back in the cars commenced. Don't know how 
many shots. Jesse got into express car through the 
rear door and Wood and Frank tried to get in through 
the side door. The baggageman was standing in 
this side door and Frank seized him by the leg and 
jerked him out of the car and left him on the ground. 
He, Frank, dived into the express car and he or 
Jesse hollowed to us to go ahead. The engineer pre- 
tended he could not move the train as the brakes 
were down. We then struck him with a piece of coal 
and told him we would kill him if he did not start the 
train. He then threw open the throttle and started it 
under a full head of steam. The engineer and fire- 
man then got out of the cab and hid in front of the en- 

44 The Testimony. 

gine. We, firing a number of shots to frighten them, 
did not aim to hit them, as we could have easily killed 
them, being most of the time within a few feet. I then 
started back to the express car, but Clarence called 
to me and I returned to the engine. Frank came out 
and shut off steam, and as she slacked we jumped off 
while it was running. Frank and Clarence got off first. 
I went back after Jesse who was still in the express car. 
Jesse jumped first, and I followed. •• We got $700 or 
$Soo that night in packages. It was all good money. 
We all got together then, except Wood, who had been 
knocked down as Frank pulled the baggage-man out 
of the car, and we never saw him. Frank talked to me 
about the robbery afterward. He said he thought they 
had killed two men. Jesse said he shot one, he knew, 
and that Frank killed one. He saw him peep in at the 
window, and thought he killed him. From there we 
went to our horses, taking our time. We all unhitched, 
except Clarence, who cut his halter-strap. From there 
We went to Crooked River. The money was divided 
in a pasture, just before daylight. Jesse divided, giv- 
ing us about $130 apiece, before we got to Crooked 
River. Wood and I then went to Ford's, the others 
went toward their mother's. I stayed at Ford's about 
a week, and then went to Mrs. Samuels', but found no 
one but the family there. Jesse and Frank came to the 
Fords' a week later, and then all five of us went to Mrs. 
Samuels'. We left in a v/agon. All the horses had 
been previously turned loose. 

We went to Kansas City, crossing on the bridge. 
Jesse and Charley Ford got out at Independence. Frank 

The Testimony, 45 

and Wood Hite went to Doc Reed's, about four miles 
from Ralston. Clarence and I went to McCraw's, fif- 
teen miles east of Independence. Three or four weeks 
after I saw Frank James in Ray county, in September 
or October. He was at Widow Bolton's. He came 
there one night and left the next night for Kentucky 
with Charley Ford and Clarence Hite. They went to 
Richmond, missed a train, and took a buggy to the R. 
and L. Junction and went to Kentucky. I have never 
seen him since. We were all armed with pistols at 
Winston. I had on a plaid suit; Frank had a bluish 
suit, all alike. I don't remember Jesse's suit. He had 
a dark striped coat and pants, and had on a big duster. 
Clarence had a dark suit, all alike. Wood had pants 
and coat of different cloth. I saw the guns that were 
shipped. I saw them at Mrs. Samuels'. Frank and 
Jesse had them. We didn't have them at Winston. 
The robbery was in 188 1, in July. Either Frank or 
Jesse designated the meeting place at Gallatin, because 
no one else knew anything about the country. 

At the close of Liddil's direct examination a re- 
cess was taken for fifteen minutes, when Liddil's, being 
recalled to the stand, further testified in reply to ques- 
tions put by the defense, as follows: 

By Mr. Philips: I went back to Jefferson City 
with Sheriff Timberlake in 1S83, in January or Febru- 
ary. I was there shortly after that with Mr. Craig, of 
Kansas City. I saw Governor Crittenden both times, 
first at the depot and the other time at his office. I 
don't remember telling the Governor at either of those 
times that after the Winston robbery Frank James up- 

46 The T'esti7nony. 

braided Jesse for killing any one, or reminded him of 
the agreement before the robbery that no one should be 
hurt or killed. 

At this stage of the proceedings Governor Thos. 
T. Crittendcji was, by consent of counsel, called out 
of time, in order to save him the trouble of staying here 
till his name could be reached in the usual order, and 
testified in behalf of the defense as follows: 

By Mr. Philips: Liddil did make such a state- 
ment to me as propounded just now. I think it was 
the second time he was at Jefferson City. It grew out 
of asking him why they killed an innocent man engaged 
in his duties. He said that it was not the intention to 
do it; that the understanding was there was to be no 
killing; that Frank had said there was to be no blood 
shed, and that after it was over Frank said, "Jesse, 
why did you shoot that man ? I thought the understand- 
ing was that no one was to be killed, and I would not 
have gone into it if I had known or thought there was 
to be anything of that sort done." To which Jesse 
said', "By G — d, I thought that the boys were pulling 
from me, and I wanted to make them a common band 
of murderers to hold them up to me." 


On August 27th the trial of Frank James, for mur- 
der in the first degree, was resumed at eight o'clock. 
Dick Liddil, being cross-examined, testified as follows: 

By Mr. Philips: When I left Jackson county I 
went to Vernon county somewhere along in 1S75 or 1876 
and worked for my father, and some other parties also. 

The Testimony. 47 

Q. What time were you tried there ? 

Objected to and the objection overruled. 

I don't remember the date of the trial, witness con- 
tinued. The party associated with me on trial was 
named Frakes. I was in the penitentary for that of- 
fense thirty-one and a half months. I left in June, but 
can not give the year. I went to Hudspeth's in Jack- 
son county. I first saw Jesse James at Ben Morrow's, 
in 1879. I also saw Ed Miller and Wood Hite. I 
think this was in the latter part of September, 1879. I 
saw Bill Ryan and Tucker Basham at other places. 
Frank James was not there at that time. Up to 1879 I 
had not met Frank James. I joined the gang in 1879. 
We scattered out at this time. I went to Ft. Scott and 
stayed there about three months. I went the latter part 
of October or the first of November. We had been in 
some trouble and thought it best to scatter. 

Q. What trouble? 

To this question counsel for the state objected, as 
being airendeavor to investigate another and distinct of- 
fense. The point being raised that witness had a right 
to decline to answer if he should criminate himself, the 
Court informed witness of his privilege. 

Mr. Philips here stated his intention to investigate 
the Glendale robbery, which occurred October, 1879, 
and was therefore, so far as any question of privilege 
was concerned, barred by the statute of limitations. 

Mr. Wallace averred that this offense was not 
barred, and the Court remarked that the statute did not 
run against robbery. 

48 Hie Testimony. 

To this Mr. Philips retorted that he didn't know 
whether the Glendale affair was a robbery or a larceny, 
which called forth the observation from Mr. Wallace 
that if the defense went into the Glendale matter the 
State would take up the robbery at Blue Cut. 

Witness further testified : "From Fort vScott I went 
to Carthage ; then came up to Six Miles, and went over 
to Mrs. Samuels', and from there, in July, went to Ten- 
nessee. Jesse James and Bill Ryan went with me to 

Witness here detailed the course taken en route to 

On this trip we did not see Joe Shelby or stop at 
his place. I never saw Shelby but once in my life, and 
that was in November, 18S0. I was at his house then 
one evening and came back next morning again. We 
crossed the Mississippi at Cape Girardeau, went to 
old man Hite's in Logan county, Kentucky, and went 
to Tennessee to Frank James'. From 1874 I didn't 
see Frank till I saw him in Tennessee at his place, 
three miles from Nashville, on the High Ferry Pike. 
From Frank's we went back to old man Hite's, and 
then I went back to Frank James' place in August, and 
stayed four or six weeks. From there we went to At- 
lanta. We left on Saturday night by rail, returning 
Sunday morning a week later. We next returned to 
Missouri. We arrived about the first of November, 
1880. Jesse James only came with me. Bill Ryan had 
come out in September previous. We came out after 
Bill Ryan. We didn't know but what we might do 
something. We went back without doing anything. 

The Testimony. 49 

We went the same route. Bill Ryan, Jim Cummings, 
Jesse James and myself were the party that went back 
to Tennessee. Jim Cummings was five feet eleven 
inches high, very slender, with sandy hair and whiskers 
and blue eyes. He was about forty or forty-one years 
old. Mr. James (the defendant) and he are about one 
age. I never heard abouthis being a married man. First 
met Jim Cummings on the first of November, rSSo, at 
Ford's, near Richmond, in Ray county. On this trip 
south we saw Gen. Joe Shelby at his house, or rather 
about one hundred yards from his house, getting out 
hemp see<3. I and Cummings were ahead and the 
others were behind, we having previously separated to 
meet on Shelby's place. We rode up to the barn and 
then I went on foot to Gen. Shelby. We were not all 
together at the time we met Shelby. 

Q. Did not Shelby on that occasion state to Jesse 
James that there were a couple of young men who had 
been arrested for the Concordia bank robbery, and that 
he didn't believe that those men had anything to do 
with it and asked Jesse if he knew anything about it, 
and didn't Jesse James turn to you and say, "There is 
that man that hit the Dutchman over the head and 
knocked him down," to which you made no reply.'' 
A. There was never any such conversation between 

Witness continuing said: 

I went to Nashville, part of the way on horseback 
and partly by rail. I got there first and the others ar- 
rived two weeks later. Frank James was still living at 


50 The Testiviony. 

his place until the last of January or first of Febru- 
ary, 1S81, when he moved into Edgefield. I had not 
seen Ryan for three weeks before his arrest, and have 
not seen him since. He was arrested for a breach of 
the peace, in which he drew a pistol, and was put into 
Nashville jail. We left as soon as we heard of Ryan's 
arrest. We left March 26, and went to old man Hite's 
on the morning of the twenty-seventh. We borrowedthe 
horses on which we made this trip. We didn't ask their 
owners' permission to use them, they being asleep. 
[Laughter.] Clarence Hite was the first one to tell us 
about the officers from Tennessee being on our tracks. 
Mr. Norris told us about seeing a posse of men fixing to 
go out somewhere. That same day (vSunday) we saw 
three men coming riding by the house. We thought they 
were coming after us, and Jesse and Frank and myself 
fixed ourselves. Frank went and fixed himself a place 
in the parlor by the window. I was in the hall behind 
the door, and Jesse on the opposite side of the hall near 
the door. 

I decline to answer about any expeditions in 1879 
on the ground that I do not desire to commit myself. I 
decline to answer who went with me. The defendant 
was not with me. From Hite's, in iSSi, we went to 
Logan county, Kentucky, where I stopped first at old 
Dr. Haskin's, and afterward at Bob Hail's, and then 
started to Missouri. At Bob Hall's we made the ar- 
rangement about coming to Missouri. We went to bid 
Johnny Pence good-by. By "we" I mean Frank James, 
Jesse James and myself. We went on horseback from 
Hall's to Louisville. I decline to answer where I got 

The Testimony. 51" 

my horse. Jesse James went with me to Louisville, 
and I came to Missonri with Jesse James. The ar- 
rangement was that we were to come out here to take 
the express where it crossed the river at Kansas City, 
the river being high so that trains could not cross. 
There was no other definite object right at that time. 
From Mrs. Samuels, on the last of May or first of June, 
we learned that the river had fallen, and this project 
was abandoned. I was in Clay county or Ray in June, 
and made one trip to Jackson county. The Chillicothe 
trip was some time in June and only took four or five 

Here the witness repeated the details of the Chilli- 
cothe trip, telling how they went into a church because 
of the rain, and had no supper or breakfast, and how 
Wood Hite went after Clarence, who had gone ahead 
by rail to bring out food, which was eaten in the woods. 
The rest of the cross-examination of Liddil may be ac- 
curately described by saying that Mr. Philips took the 
witness over every step of ground referred to by him 
in his testimony in chief without eliciting anything 
which tended in any way to contradict that testimony. 
If anything Liddil's testimony to-day was more full 
and particular to dates, places, persons and descriptions 
than on Saturday. He told how he had since paid a 
visit to Gallatin, recognized some of the persons referred 
to in his direct testimony, such as Mr. Hamilton, the 
saddler, who sold him the fenders for his horse, and 
Mr. Potts, the blacksmith, who shod his horse. He de- 
tailed facts and circumstances without the slightest hesi- 
tation or confusion, and freely admitted that he was 

52 The Testimony. 

here now under guard of Marshal Langhorn, of Kan- 
sas City, ever since leaving that last named town. His 
testimony was given in an easy, fluent, even, matter-of- 
fact way, and in conversational tone. He was at no time 
embarrassed, and probably made but one slip all morn- 
ing, when he described Woolfenbei-ger's house, where 
the gang ate shortly before the Winston murder, as be- 
ing southwest of Gallatin, whereas it is southeast. The 
State's counsel let the defense ask all the questions they 
wanted without objection, and witness did not seek to 
evade telling anything unless it had a tendency to crim- 
inate himself. 

A little flash of feeling passed between Mr. Philips 
and the witness towards the close of the cross-examina- 
tion. Witness was asked about eating at a Mrs. Mont- 
gomery's, and answered that he knew nothing about 
Mrs. Montgomery, and was not with any parties who 
ate there, so far as he knew. He then turned to Mr. 
Philips, and asked what time the question was sup- 
posed to refer to. The defendant's counsel tartly re- 
marked that it would be time for witness to cross-ex- 
amine him when the time came, when the court 
administered a sharp rebuke to counsel, statmg that 
witness had a right to ask the question of counsel, and 
that counsel must observe due courtesy towards witness. 

Liddil re-described the train robbery at Winston. 
He said that he and Clarence Hite were on the engine 
all the time except the time he went back over the coal 
to see if the brakes were on, and the time he went into 
the express car after Jesse James, after the thing was 
ended. The baggage or express car had solid doors. 

The Testimony. 53 

Jesse came out of the forward door when the train 
stopped and they all got off, and Frank came through 
the same door when he came over the tender to shut off 
steam. Witness heard firing back in the rear cars while 
he was still on the tender to the number of six or seven 
shots, and before he did <iny shooting himself. Witness 
did not fire a shot until after the engineer and fireman had 
run out on the pilot, when he and Clarence Hite fired 
two or three times each to bring them back. Witness 
did not hear any shooting at ailafter Frank James came 
over the tender. The shooting I heard was just after 
we started and before the first halt. If he heard a shot 
after the first halt he didn't remember it. 

After the robbery witness and Wood Hite went to the 
Ford's, getting there the Saturday night following the 
Friday oi the robbery, where they were joined by Jesse 
and Frank James and Clarence Hite. I was at Nichols' 
house right after this, with the other four. We got 
there at midnight, and only stayed a few minutes to eat 
all the cold grub they had. Nichols and his wife were 
present. I don't think we were in the house, but that 
we sat around the platform of the well. I was also at 
Joe Hall's. Jesse and I stopped there one night to get 
some buttermilk. I don't remember any one coming 
down to the fence to see us. Nichols' place is about 
half a mile from Mrs. Samuels'. 

Witness further explicitly denied ever seeing Jim 
Cummings during the 'summer of iSSi. He denied also 
that in September, 18S1, in company with Jesse James, 
Wood Hite and Jim Cummings, he met Joe Shelby in 
a lane near Page City, when Shelby was on horseback 

54 The Testttnony. 

and in his shirt sleeves, and declared he had not seen 
Shelby except the time at his house and last Thursday 
at Kansas City. He denied that at Page City Shelby 
had asked where Frank James was, or that Jesse James 
had answered that Frank's health was such that he had 
been south for years, or that Shelby then asked witness 
when he had seen Frank, and that the reply had been 
that he had not seen him for two years. No such con- 
versation ever occurred. 

Witness also emphatically denied telling Joe B. 
Chiles, at Kansas City, that Frank James was not at 
the Winston robbery, but stated that he had a conver- 
sation with Chiles, in which Chiles said he had a pass 
from Governor Crittenden, and that he had been riding 
around on it, but that he had never looked for the 
James boys; never had tried to find them, and did not 
want to. Witness admitted that at or about the time of 
his arrest in Kansas City^ he might have told Major 
McGee that he (witness) was not at Winston. It 
was not probable he would go around telling everybody 
he was there. 

Witness also denied in toto telling Frank Tutt, 
coal oil inspector at Lexington, on the same occasion, 
that he didn't know where Frank James was, and that 
he had not been with the party for years, on account of 
Jesse and Frank having had trouble. Witness denied 
having heard Jesse James on ^another occasion tell 
John Samuels (Frank James' half brother) that Frank 
was in Tennesee or Kentucky, and had gone south on 
account of his health, but he said he heard them asking 
for Frank, and that Jesse said he would be at Mrs. 

The Testijuony. 55 

Samuels' in a few days. Witness also declined to 
answer the question, so far as inquiry by Mrs. Sam- 
uels was concerned on the ground that it would 
criminate him. Liddil declined to tell when or 
where he last saw Wood Hite, or when he first 
heard of his death, and declined also to answer 
whether Wood Hite was dead or not. He was in Ray 
county when he first heard of it. Was at Mrs. Bolton's 
at the time, with her brothers, Wilbur, Captain, 
Charley and Bob Ford. From Mrs. Bolton's he went 
to Kansas City. He remembered Mrs. Bolton's house 
being raided in January, 1882, and crept out that night 
through a door. Hid next day in a field, and went to 
Kansas City about ten days later, but first went to 
Bill Ford's, uncle of Charley and Bob. There he first 
met Sheriff Timberlake, about a quarter of a mile from 
the house, in a pasture. Had been negotiating for a 
surrender with Governor Crittenden through Mrs. 
Bolton, who had brought him word to surrender to 
Sheriff Timberlake, the condition being that he was 
not to be prosecuted, but was to give evidence and 
assist in the capture of the James brothers. 

Court here took a recess till 1:30 p. m. 

On the reassembling of the court after recess Dick 
Liddil again took the stand, and testified that he had 
been in jail in Alabama for eight months, but had been 
released on his own recognizance to come to Kansas 
City, and there bailed by Messrs. Craig and Timber- 
lake to come to Gallatin. I was turned out on April 
28, 1883, stayed in Huntsville, Alabama, a week, went 
to Nashville, and came on to Kansas City in June; 

^6 The Testimony. 

have since been out West in Kansas and the Indian 
Territory ; Mr. Wallace and Mr. Craig and those 
gentlemen paid my expenses ; got back to Kansas two 
weeks last Friday. While last at Kansas City I 
boarded at the court house in care of a Deputy Mar- 
shal. 1 had passes to travel on the railroads. Mr. 
Longhorne has charge of me. He has served a writ 
on me two weeks ago. I have not been put in jail 
under it, and have not given any bond. I paid my own 
way from Alabama, Bob and Charley Ford having 
sent me $ioo when I was there. I had only enough 
to get to St. Louis, and came the rest of the way on 
my carpet-sack and pistols. Have been to St. Louis 
since on a pass furnished by Mr. Wallace. 1 redeemed 
my carpet-sack and pistols. Capt. Craig got them for 
me. I have not been engaged in any business since 
my return from Alabama. 

Re-direct examination by Mr. Wallace: At 
Winston we all had two pistols except Wood Hite, 
who had but one. And leaving the train we all loaded 
up, Frank and Jesse, Clarence and Wood and myself. 
The defendant loaded up and said he had fired several 
shots, he and Jesse both. I saw him loading his pistol. 
On one of these trips Frank had the little bay mare 
from Elkhorn, and on the second trip the horse I had 
shod was the Matthews horse. When I saw Sheriff 
Timberlake I told him I had sent a party to see the 
Governor. I don't know that I told Mr. Timberlake 
full details at that time, but I told him shortly after. I 
think it was after Clarence Hite was captured, in Feb- 
ruary, 1S82 — two or three weeks after I had given my- 

The Testimony. 57 

self up. Jesse never had a horse after the Winston 
robbery. I never v^as with him when he was on 
horse-back after that. In Kansas City, during the 
weeks immediately after the Winston robbery, the 
defendant and his companions when they went any- 
where had to walk. 

By Mr. Philips: At the time of the Winston 
robbery the defendant wore long burnside whiskers 
and a mustache. 

Willia77i Earthman was recalled and testified: 
At Nashville Frank James wore whiskers long all over 
his face, the whiskers being a little darker than his 
hair. I arrested Bill Ryan, not because he was drunk 
and carried a pistol, but because he said he was a rob- 
ber and an outlaw against the state and country. 

J . Thdfnas Ford testified as follows: I live in 
Ray county; am the father of Bob and Charley Ford. 
Have lived in Ray County, two and a half miles north 
of Richmond. In iSSi Mrs. Bolton, my daughter, 
lived half a mile east of Richmond. I know the 
defendant. I sa*w him in iSSi. I heard of the Win- 
ston robbery. I saw the defendant a short time before 
that, between the first and tenth of July. He was 
alone. I went down there and ate dinner with him at 
my sister's. He went by the name of Hall. The 
defendant is the man I saw on that occasion. 

Cross-examined : My son, Charles, in iSSi, lived 
at the Harbison farm, where Mrs. Bolton kept house 
for him. Wilbur was there that year till August. 
Charley and Cap rented the farm in March, iSSo, and 
Mrs. Bolton kept house for them. Cap went to Rich- 

58 The, Testimony. 

mond, Missouri, and Wilbur took his place. They 
had all previously been living at my house. Mrs. 
Bolton lived with me for five years prior to moving to 
the Harbison place. Had seen Mr. Hall (the defend- 
ant) in the May previous to July, 18S1. My son John 
told me who he really was the Sunday evening in May. 
I knew at that time that the officers of the law were 
trying to find Frank James. I told my wife, but never 
told any of my children that didn't already know it. I 
have seen Jesse James two or three times. First saw 
him in 1S79 or 1880, when he came to my house. I 
know Dick Liddil. Think he first passed my house 
once with Jesse James in 1879 or iw8o, when they' 
stopped and got their supper. Afterward I saw Wood 
Hite under similar circumstances in the fall of 1879 or 
1880. It was in 1879 and not in 1880. I never knew 
Clarence Hite. Had often seen Jim Cummings in 
Clay and Ray counties. He lived five or six miles 
from me. I remember also seeing Wood Hite and 
Jesse James at my place in September, 1S81. Know 
James C. Mason, a neighbor of mine. I never told 
him shortly after Jesse James was killed that Frank 
was not in the Winston or Blue Cut robbery, or that 
he had not been in the county for a long time, or that I 
never knew anything about their being at my son's 
house. 1 always tried to keep from saying anything 
about them, because I thought it policy to do so. I 
never made any such statement to Wm. D. Rice either. 

Re-direct — By Mr. Wallace: 

When Frank James told me he hadn't seen his 
mother for five years it was at my son's, the last time I 

The Testimony, 59 

saw him there. My brother married Jim Cummings' 
sister. When I saw him the defendant wore "side- 
burn" whiskers and a mustache. 

By Mr. Glover: Frank James said either he 
hadn't seen his mother for five years, or was trying to 
see her, or hadn't been in the county for five years. I 
haven't talked with Liddil since the winter of 1882. 
He was at my house twice since his surrender. He 
came there once before with Jesse James, some time 
in the summer of 1S79. The last time I ever saw 
Wood Hite he was in company with Dick Liddil, in 
July or August, 1881. I never saw him, alive or dead, 
after that. I heard he was killed at the house where 
the boys were farming. 

Elias Ford^ otherwise Capt. Ford, testified: I 
have been staying in Kansas City the last few weeks, 
but am now staying at Richmond. I know defendant. 
First saw him about the first of May, 18S1, at Charley 
Ford's. When I saw him there were present Frank 
and Jesse James. I can't say about Liddil or Wood 
Hite being present or not. I walked with defendant 
that day. He went by the name of Hall. Jesse intro- 
duced him under that name. First saw Jesse in Sep- 
tember, 1879, at my father's, with Ed Miller. I have 
seen Frank James often since. In June and July; 
about the first of July, 1881, with Jesse, Dick Liddil, 
Clarence Hite and Wood Hite. Saw him next again 
about August i. The same party were there then. 
They were riding. Frank was there a week or ten 
days. He had side whiskers and a mustache. I have 
a brother, J. T. Ford. I know of a box shipped to 

6o The Testimony. 

him at Richmond, I couldn't see where it was from. 
It had a couple of guns in it. I opened it at John 
Ford's store, in Richmond. The guns were a double- 
barreled shot-gun and a Winchester. Jesse took the 
rifle off. I don't know who took the shot-gun. I 
know Jim Cummings. I got acquainted with him in 
1871 or 1872; last saw him in the fall of iSSi at Char- 
ley Ford's house. I know him well. 

The cross-examination of this witness, Elias Ford, 
afforded no matter of interest till he was asked if he 
did not help to bury the body of Wood Hite in the 
brush near the Woods pasture in Ray county, which 
question the state's -counsel objected to, and the court 
sustained the objection. 

Defendant's counsel then asked witness whether 
Dick Liddil didn't kill Wood Hite, which involved a 
similar objection and ruling. The court also ruled 
that defendant need not answer a question as to whether 
he did not keep concealed the body of Wood Hite all 
day till it could be buried. The argument over this 
point was sharp and bitter. Defendant's counsel gave 
as their reason for putting the question that they de- 
sired to show that Liddil had killed Wood Hite, and 
then gone and given himself up, and given away the 
rest of the gang to secure immunity for that crime. 

The court adhered to its previous ruling, that the 
questions asked were improper, and that a witness' 
conduct could not be shown by proof of special bad or 
immoral acts. Liddil's credibility might be attacked 
but not in that manner. 

7 lie Testimony. 6i 

Witness further stated that he had been working 
for Captain Craig, of Kansas City, in looking after the 
James boys, and that he quit looking for them in 
October of last year. Since then he has been staying 
at his father's. 

Re-dircct examination — By Mr. Wallace: The 
Winston robbery was in July, i8Si. Have not seen 
Jim Cummings since iSSo. 

Re-cross-exami7iation : I heard of Jim Cummings 
being in the neighborhood about June i8, 18S2. 

Mrs. Martha Bolton testified : I live at Richmond, 
Missouri. Am the daughter of Thos. Ford, and a 
sister of Bob and Charley Ford. I know Frank James. 
First saw him at my brother's in May, iSSi. He came 
there one night with Jesse James. I first saw Jesse James 
in 1879 at my father's. Ed Miller was with him. At 
the May, 18S1, visit Jesse stayed all night and Frank 
stayed a week, reading Shakespeare and other books 
in his room. I saw Dick Liddil, Wood Hite, and 
Clarence Hite there. They all went away together 
with Frank James. At that time Frank wore side 
whiskers and mustache, and went by the name of Hall. 
I saw him again two or three weeks after, in company 
with Dick Liddil. They went away together. He 
was gone two or three weeks, and came back again 
and stayed till the fourth, fifth and sixth of July, before 
the Winston robbery. After that I saw him and Jesse 
and Clarence Hite come there about the last of July. 
Wood Hite and Liddil were there already. That 
time they remained two days, and left together. I 
next saw Frank James about the first of October. He 

62 The Testimony. 

came with Charley Ford and Clarence Hite. Dick 
Liddil was already there. They all left my house 
together for Richmond. Never saw Frank James or 
Clarence Hite after that. I know Jim Cummings. 
He was once at my house in Richmond; that was in 
1879, I believe. I did not see him the summer that I 
have described seeing the other men I have named. I 
have heard that Jim Cummings was there in the spring 
of 1881. Never heard of his being there in the sum- 
mer or fall of 188 1. 

Cross-examuted : Liddil was in the house Janu- 
ary 6, 1 882, at the time of the raid, when he escaped, I 
didn't ask him how. Wood Hite is dead. He died 
December 5, 1881. He died about one hour before 
sunrise that morning. The question of how Wood 
Hite came to his death, or what was done with his 
body, or where he was buried, were all peremptorily 
ruled out by the court. 

Witness continued : The raid on my house was 
made about the sixth of January following the fifth of 
December on which Hite died. Liddil gave himself 
up alone the twentieth of January, 1882. I went to 
Jefferson City to see the Governor on business, between 
January 6 and 20. Bob Ford sent me there on busi- 
ness. I went there to make arrangements for the sur- 
render of Dick Liddil. Dick surrendered on condi- 
tion of immunity from punishment, and that he would 
testify against the rest of the band. I know James C. 
Mason. He lives about three-quarters of a mile from 
me. I never told him, shortly after Jesse's death, that 
Wood and Clarence Hite, Jesse James, Dick Liddil 

The Testimony, 63 

and Jim Cummings were in the robberies, or that I 
thought Frank was trying to lead an honest life, and 
was different from Jesse, or that Frank would move to 
different places when Jesse would go to where he was, 
and when the detectives would come after Jesse, Frank 
would have to leave, or that Jesse James, Wood Hite, 
Clarence Hite, Dick Liddil and Jim Cummings were 
at my house just before and after the Winston robbery, 
and that Frank James was not. I did testify before 
the Coroner's inquest over Wood Hite's body, but I 
did not state at that inquest that I had not seen Frank 
James for two years, or that he had not been at my 
house or my brother's in that time. 

An attempt by the defense to get witness to talk 
about the killing of Wood Hite, or of her conduct on 
the day of his death, was emphatically sat down on by 
the court. 


Here the jury entered the court room, and Mrs. 
Bolton, taking the stand, was informed by the court 
that she need not answer any self-criminating ques- 
tions. In answer to questions by Mr. Glover, the wit- 
ness said: "On Sunday, December 5, i88r. Bud 
Harbison and William Jacobs were at my house. 
They reached it in the afternoon. We had dinner that 
day between 12 and i o'clock." 

Q. In what room of your house was Wood Hite 
killed } 

Objected to as being a collateral matter, and that 
if it were to be gone into Dick Liddil would enter his 

64 The Testimony. 

appearance to the charge within thirty minutes. The 
court overruled the objection. 

A. He was killed in the dining-room. I don't 
know how long after that his body was taken upstairs. 
I refuse to answer whether his body was taken upstairs. 
I had nothing to do with his killing. [Counsel for 
defendant here admitted this to be a fact.] I do not 
know who took the body upstairs or how long it 
remained there. I didn't go ujistairs to see it, was not 
in the room afterward, and haven't been in it since. 
I don't know when the body was taken upstairs. I 
was there that night. I didn't see anyone that evening 
but my own children. I don't know who took Wood 
Hite's body down-stairs. I saw no coffin there that day. 
I did not see the body carried out. I don't know when 
the body was taken out. I didn't tell William Jacobs 
nor Bud Harbison nor any one that Wood Hite's body 
was up-stairs. He was buried about two hundred 
yai-ds from the house. His body was covered with a 
sheet when I saw it after it had been exhumed. Hite's 
body had been out there about five months before I saw 
it at the time of the inquest. In the winter time my 
dining room and kitchen are all in one. 

Here the court ruled again that Liddil's connec- 
tion with the killing of Wood Hite, or his whereabouts 
on the day of Hite's death, were not to be inquired of 
by this witness. 

Witness further testified: Wood Hite was killed 
in December, and I left that house in February, as 1 
understood Wood Hite and Jesse James were cousins. 

The Tcsti7nony. 65 

At the close of this testimony Mr. Wallace vigor- 
ously protested against the manner in which the exami- 
nation of Mrs. Bolton had been conducted by the 
defense, and flung down the challenge that if Liddil's 
connection with the Wood Hite killing was to^ be 
inquired into, he (Wallace) would enter Liddil's 
appearance to answer that charge, and it might be 
inquired of before the jury now trying Frank James. 

Elias Ford, otherwise Captain Ford, being re- 
called, the court notified defendant's counsel that while 
they might show this witness' connection with the Hite 
killing, they could not show the connection of any other 
witness with that matter. 

Witness then testified: I was at Mrs. Bolton's on 
December 5, 1881. Wood Hite was killed in the 
dining-room of that house about 9 o'clock. I got there 
about ten 'minutes after the shooting. I didn't see the 
body taken upstairs. The body stayed up-stairs till 
about 9 o'clock in the evening. I refuse to answer 
who took the body out and buried it, on the ground 
that it would criminate myself. I saw the body taken' 
out that night. Four persons carried the body. out. 
I know where the body was buried — about one-quarter 
of a mile east of the house in the brush. There was no 
coffin. He was wrapped in a blanket and placed in a 
trench three feet deep, and covered with earth and 
some stones and brush. He was only partially clad in 
his clothes. He wore a gray suit when he was killed. 

Re-direct — By Mr. Wallace: Dick Liddil was 
shot and wounded at this time and was a long time 
recovering from his wounds. 


66 The Testimony. 

This admission was jerked out suddenly, and was 
in before the jury before any one could prevent it. 
The prosecution kicked about it most vigorously. 

Miss Ida Bolton, a thirteen-year-old girl, in a blue 
dress and straw hat, testified: I know Frank James. 
I see him now. I knew him well. I saw him at 
Uncle Charley Ford's, a mile and a half east of Rich- 
mond, Missouri. I lived there with him (Charley 
Ford) two years. During the second year I saw Mr. 
James, who went there by the name of Hall. I saw 
him five or six times. The first time I saw him was in 
May. Jesse James was there, too, going by the name 
of Johnson. That summer I also saw Dick Liddil, 
Clarence and Wood Hite. Liddil went by the name 
of Anderson, Clarence Hite by the name of Charley 
Jackson and Wood Hite by the name of Grimes. After 
the first visit I saw defendant there two or three weeks 
later, and again saw Frank James there later in the 
summer. He wore side whiskers. I last saw him 
there in October, i88i. Clarence Hite and Dick 
Liddil were there. When defendant left that time, 
Clarence Hite and Uncle Charley went with him. 
I know Jim Cummings. I saw him in iSSo, in the 
fall. That is the last time I saw him. 

Cross-examhted — 5y Mr. Glover: I came here 
Friday. Mr. Ballinger brought me and paid my ex- 
penses. Have talked to Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Wal- 
lace about what my testimony would be. I have not 
talked it over with my mother, Mrs. Bolton. The last 
day I saw Frank James was the ninth or tenth of 
October, i88i. He was dressed in black coat, vest 

The Testimony. 67 

and pants. Saw Clarence Hite the same day. He 
wore dark clothes and a drummer's hat. I saw Dick 
Liddil that day, too. They left that day at 5 o'clock 
on foot, all walking together. Uncle Charley Ford 
went with them. Cummings had not been there that 
year. In the summer of iSSi Jesse James came there. 
He was there the first' day of May. He was there 
between May and October of iSSi, but I don't remem- 
ber the time. He came in the night. The first time 
Dick Liddil came, in the summer of i<SSi, Jesse 
James was with him. Dick wore a gray and Jesse a 
black suit. Dick had a mustache, but no whiskers, 
and Jesse had whiskers about an inch long. Dick had 
whiskers in the winter. Frank James was there from 
May I to May 6, 1881. Dick Liddil was there the 
first part of June. Clarence Hite was there some time 
in July. Wood Hite was there off and on all through 
the summer. I remember he was there in September, 
about the sixteenth or seventeenth of the month. I 
don't remember the day of Wood Hite's death, but 
remember the place. It was in 1S81. He was killed 
in the morning about 7 or 8 o'clock. Uncle Bob Ford 
and ma and Dick Liddil were present when he died. 
I didn't see him taken upstairs. He was buried in the 
night. I don't know who took him out or who buried 
him, or how he was buried, or where. I left the house 
in January, 1881, after the time an armed posse raided 
the house. Mother and I moved away from the house 
in March. I remember mother going to Jefferson City 
to see Governor Crittenden and her return. Dick 
Liddil left about a week after her return. The last 

68 The Testimony. 

time Jesse James left there was during the Christmas 
holidays of iS8i. I saw Cummings there in the fall 
of 1880. I first saw him in 1S7S. Never saw him but 
twice. I have never heard of his being in that country 
in 18S1. 

Willie Bolton, a light-haired boy of fifteen, and 
brother of the last witness, testified : I know the defend- 
ant. I first saw him in May, 1881, about a mile east 
of Richmond, at the Harbison place, when Cap and 
Charley Ford were living there. Saw Frank James 
four or five times that summer. He had side whiskers 
at that time. 

Cross-exa?nined : I remember Wood Hite's death. 
He was killed about 8 or 9 o'clock on the morning of 
December 2, 18S1. I saw the body that night. I 
heard the shooting at the time, went to the house from 
the barn, where I had been milking. I did not go into 
the room where the shooting occurred. I don't know 
when or by whom the dead body was taken upstairs. 
His coat, vest and pants were removed and a horse- 
blanket put on him. He was then taken down and 
buried in the Wood's pasture. In a conversation with 
A. Duval, in the presence of W. D. Rice, near the 
Ford residence, in Ray county, on August 17, 1883, I 
did not say I knew Frank James at our house as Mr. 
Hall, but did not know him to be Frank James, but 
that I intended to swear it was he anyway. I testified 
before the coroner on the occasion of the inquest over 
Wood Hite. Don't remember any conversation with 
W. D. Rice after that inquest. I did not tell him my 

The. Testijjiony. 69 

mother had made me swear the way I did at the in- 

Brief proof was here made by the state that the 
different members of the Ford family had been brought 
into court on attachment. 

y antes Hughes testified : I live at Richmond, 
Missouri; have been living in Ray county since 1830. 
I have seen the defendant since I have been here. I 
saw a gentleman that resembled him very much last 
fall a year ago at the depot in Richmond. I conversed 
\yith him. I think the defendant is the man. I saw 
him at the depot in September or October, 1S81. I 
went to the train. There were three gentlemen want- 
ing to get off on a freight train to the R. and L. Junc- 
tion. The train didn't come, and the party I refer to 
asked if there was any other way to get to the junction. 
I looked at my watch, and said it could be made by 
taking a hack. The prisoner and the two gentlemen 
who were with him got a 'bus at Mr. Swash's livery 
stable and went in the direction of the junction. 

Cross-examined : I can not remember how the 
party I speak of was dressed, or how he wore his 

Thomas Ford^ or "Old Man Ford," was recalled 
to show that- he was brought into court by attachment. 
He last saw Jim Cummings in the fall of 1S81. Have 
never seen him since. 

Cross-exafnined : I saw Cummings during 1S78 
and 1879, when I lived in Clay county. I dont remem- 
ber the precise time at which I saw him. I don't think 
I saw him in 1879, but I am satisfied I saw him in 1880. 

7o The Testimony. 

I saw him five years ago last winter at my house in 
Ray county and then again in iSSo at my house in 
Clay county. 

The court here took a recess till i :30 p. m. Joseph 
Mallory was the first witness called after recess, and 
testified: I have lived in this county about forty-three 
years. I remember hearing of the Winston robbery. 
I then lived eight miles west of Gallatin and four miles 
northeast of Winston. I think I have seen the defend- 
ant before at Mr. Pott's shop getting his horse shod. 
It was Thursday morning prior to the robbery at Win- 
ston. He and another gentleman were there together. 
The other was a slender man of ordinary height, a little 
humped in the back. They were getting a horse shod 
— a small bay nag. The defendant was holding the 
horse. I and he conversed there about most every- 
thing relative to Garfield's assassination, and so on, 
and defendant said he was going up to Nodaway to 
run a race there at the fair. Mr. Potts said they came 
from Caldwell, and they themselves said they came 
from Ray county. 

Cross-examined — By Mr. Rush : Never saw any 
other strangers get horses shod at that shop. The 
other man present when the horse was shod was clad 
in a dark suit, but not of a solid color. Mr. Whitman 
and a Mr. Wm. Hughes were also there. I remember 
when the horse was shod the man went to pay Mr. 
Potts and said, "This is all the change I have got," 
pulling out some silver. The man that held the horse 
had whiskers on his face and chin about three or four 
inches long, of rather a light color. After I left the 

The Testimony. 71 

blacksmith shop I saw the two men going west. I did 
not see the defendant after that till I saw him in jail 
here. At that time I could not identify him on account 
of the dim light. I believe now that he is the man I 
saw at Mr. Potts' shop. 

Jonas Potts testified: I live in Daviess county, 
about four miles northeast of Winston. I have seen 
the defendant, Frank James. I saw him once at Inde- 
pendence, and before that at my shop some time in the 
latter part of June, 18S1. He was at my house twice 
on or about the last of June, and again on either the 
thirteenth or "fourteenth of July. I shod a horse for 
him. There was another man with him with full 
mustache and whiskers, which I think were colored. I 
met this other man here the other day. I knew him the 
moment I saw him. On the first time the horse shod 
was a sorrel horse of good size with a blaze on his face. 
On that occasion my dog ran against the shoe-box and 
scared the horse, and he ran out of doors. This was 
shortly before noon. We had some little conversation 
when it came to paying. There was fifty cents short, 
and the other man (James) said he would play me a 
game of seven-up whether it was $1 dollar or nothing. 
I told him I had no time, or he couldn't say that twice. 
As it was I had to send out and get change. On the 
other visit there came a slender fellow with the defend- 
ant. A slender man, tall, light-complexioned, with 
light whiskers and mustache, and a couple of black 
teeth. The other man called him Clarence. They 
came a little after sun-up and had us get them break- 
fast, and I shod a little bay mare for the defendant. I 

7a The Testi?}iony. 

had considerable talk with the parties when they called 
the first time. Mr. James did most of the talking both 

Cross-examined : Mr. James came both times 
with a different companion each time. At the first 
visit Liddil wore a heavy mustache and short whiskers 
all around his face. James had side whiskers that 
were darker than his mustache. Liddil wore a light 
plad suit, rather worn, and a black hat. He had on 
boots, and the other man also. Mr. James' compan- 
ion on the second visit wore light, grayish clothes. I 
would judge him to be five feet ten inches, slim, with 
light complexion, blue eyes, light mustache, burnside 
whiskers about an inch long. Frank James was dressed 
on this second occasion in a dark suit with a gold 
speck in it, and had his whiskers like they were on the 
previous visit. On this second visit Frank James 
talked a long time with Squire Mallory. This was 
about the thirteenth and fourteenth of July, iSSi. 
The Winston robbery was on the fifteenth. I had 
never seen Liddil before, but was under the impres- 
sion I had seen Mr. James at the Kansas City Fair, 
when Goldsmith Maid trotted there, and at the Hamil- 
ton Fair. First saw Mr. James after his arrest at In- 
dependence. Went down there with Loss Ewing, of 
the Rock Island Road. He furnished the money, 
except what little I spent in a saloon. At that time I 
didn't come to any conclusion at all, but it was such a 
dark place that I didn't have a good chance to see 
him. When I got a good look at him, I was perfectly 
satisfied he was the man. Loss Ewing introduced me 

The Testimony. 73 

to him. I shook hands with him and don't think I did 
any talking. I didn't tell the defendant on that occa- 
sion that I had shod a hoi'se for him once. Subse- 
quently saw the defendant in the Gallatin jail. Did 
not then fully make up my mind that he was the man. 
In June, I saw him in the court room and in the court 
house yard, and made up my mind that he was the 
man. I don't remember telling Marion Duncan, about 
a month after Jesse James' death, that I had seen Jesse 
James' picture, and that he was one of the men for 
whom I had shod a horse. I remember being slightly 
in liquor on that occasion, and that he was trying to 
pump me. 

Q. Where did you get your liquor? 

A. At Winston, I suppose, where you got yours. 

Witness added : I know John Dean. If I ever 
told him anything I don't know it. I never told John 
Dean after I had been to Independence that I had 
never seen Frank James before. I don't remember 
telling G. H. Chapman after I had been to Gallatin 
that I had no way of telling whether Frank James was 
the man whose horse I had shod. I never made a simi- 
lar denial to Robert Simpson, turnkey of the Indepen- 
dence Jail. I will explain my wife's shaking her head 
when Mrs. Annie Winburn asked her if Frank James 
was the man who ate at our place, by saying that she 
shook her head because she didn't want to tell; be- 
cause there were too many sneaking round and listen- 
ing. I never said on Saturday last in the court house 
yard in the presence of F. W. Comstock that from 

74 The Testimony. 

what I had heard of Liddil's testimony, he might 
have had a horse shod at my place, but that I had no 
recollection of the transaction. I never said any such 

By Mr. Hamilton: I don't know any man by the 
name of Comstock, unless it be a man who was intro- 
duced to me who owns a sorrel horse. At the shop, 
when I shod his horse, the defendant gave me his name 
as Green Cooper, and said that he lived in Ray county 
and was a cattle dealer. I believe I have seen the 
little bay mare I shod on the trip in a livery stable at 
Liberty. She had on a pair of shoes in front that I 
thought I fitted up. I think I can recognize my work 
when I see it. I saw this mare about a month or six 
weeks after the Winston robbery. I was going through 
the stable, when a boy showed me the mare telling me 
not to go too near her, as she was a kicker and was 
Jesse James' mare. 

Re-cross-examined: 1 believe those were the 
shoes I fitted up for the mare. I heard from some 
source such a mare was reported to be there, and I 
went there to see her. The defendant gave his name 
as Green Cooper on the first visit. I may have told 
Squire Mallory of this name. Don't think I ever told 
Mr. Hughes. 

G. W. Whitman testified: I live in Daviess 
county, four miles northeast of Winston. Have seen 
the defendant. I saw him at Mr. Potts' shop on the 
fourteenth of July, iSSi. He got a mare shod there 
on Thursday morning. There was a man with him 
with light whiskers and just a patch on his chin. He 

The Testimony. 75 

had a small-sized mare. It was a bay mare, about 
fifteen and one half hands high. The defendant was 
getting her shod. I was there about an hour and a 
half. Mr. Mallory and Mr. Hughes were there, too. 
Squire Mallory and defendant did all the talking, ex- 
cept that as the two strangers left, the defendant, in 
reply to a remark of mine, said he thought Mr. Potts 
had done a good job. I have since seen the defendant 
at the June term of court and recognized him as the 
man I saw the morning in July, i88r. 

Cross-examined : When the horse w^as shod de- 
fendant wore lightish whiskers, rather short all around 
his face except the chin. 

Re-direct : He had a mustache, too. I am posi- 
tive he is the man. 

Frank R. O'iVe?'// testified : I live in St. Louis, 
and have been connected with the St. Louis Repub- 
lican as reporter for nearly the last ten years. I know 
the defendant. First saw him in October, 1S82, be- 
fore he gave himself up. Had an interview with him 
and published the same by consent. Stated in that 
interview that he went to Nashville in the fall of 1877, 
being then in ill-health ; that he farmed and drove for 
the Indiana Lumber Company, and lived a hard, labo- 
rious life for four years; that he was well known in 
Nashville as B. J. Woodson; that there he met Jesse, 
whom he had not seen for two years ; that he left Nash- 
ville. He also talked about Cummings and described 
him as a man easily frightened. Cummings went 
away and they were afraid he had gone to give the 
boys away. Ryan was arrested shortly after. What 

76 The Testimony. 

the defendant had done since that time was passed in 
the interview by mutual consent. He spoke of Cum- 
mings as a lazy man who drawled in his speech. He 
said, too, that Jesse, Jim Cummings and Dick Liddil 
were all at Nashville at the time he was; that after 
Ryan was arrested he and Jesse left. He said he went 
unarmed while in Nashville, and that he never had any 
trouble there except on one trifling occasion, and that 
he numbered several of the officials among his friends. 
When armed he carried a Winchester and a pair of 
Remingtons. Defendant had read the interview as 
printed. He noticed no error. 

Witness was here asked where the interview took 
place, but begged to be relieved from stating further 
than that it occurred in Missouri. The defendant's 
wife was present. Witness declined to state who were 
present besides those named, and was given till morn- 
ing to decide whether he would answer touching the 
place and time of the interview and the names of the 
parties present threat. 

Mrs. Jonas Potts testified : I live eight miles 
from here. I have seen the defendant at my house the 
thirteenth or fourteenth of July, 1881. The Winston 
robbery was the fifteenth of July. The man who came 
with him had light whiskers and blue eyes, and had a 
stoop in his walk. I think we talked, amongst other 
things, about the Talbott case. He remarked that a 
mother never forsook her children. When they left the 
breakfast table the taller one, or defendant, said, 
"Clarence, make out your breakfast." 

The Testimony. 77 

Gen. Jamin Matchett testified: I reside in 
Caldwell county, Missouri. I remember the Winston 
robbery. Was living three miles from Winston at the 
time. Believe I saw Frank James at my residence on 
July 14, 1881. A Mr. Scott was with him. Scott was 
five feet eight or nine inches high, brown hair, a few 
freckles and a very ill-formed mouth, with irregular 
teeth ; somewhat slim. They came to my house about 
n o'clock. One of the party rode a bay, the other a 
sorrel, with two white hind legs. They first inquired 
for some one on the premises. I came down stairs to 
the front door. They wanted to know if they could 
get dinner. I said I would see my wife, who objected 
somewdiat as she was washing, to which they remarked 
they were in no hurry, and I then told them that they 
could be accommodated. We watered the horses, 
which they tied to my shade trees in the orchard and 
then inquired for feed. I stepped into the field and 
brought bundles of oats. One of them inquired if they 
were fresh cut, and being told they were, said they 
didn't want to feed any green food, and I gave them a 
blunt ax and they cut off the green part. When they 
rode up I noticed they were wearing heavy goods for 
that time of the year, and had gum coats or blankets 
strapped to their saddles. One gave his name as Scott 
from Plattsburg, Clinton county, and the other, the de- 
fendant, said his name was Willard, and had been in 
Clinton county about eight years, and came from the 
Shenandoah Valley. We talked some about the Shen- 
andoah Valley, Virginia. 

78 The Testimojiy. 

I inquired of Willard where he had been between 
the Shenandoah Valley and this section, and he never 
answered me, but said, "What do you think of Bob 
Ingersoll?" We discussed Bob for some time, till we 
differed so that I went to my library for a volume of 
his lectures, which I gave Willard, and he read some 
till he fell asleep. At dinner we talked about Clinton 
county. I asked some questions about Lawson, which 
Willard answered, and then later I asked about Green- 
ville, Clay county, once called Clintonville, which Wil- 
lard did not answer, but said, "What is your judgment 
of the Talbott boys?" We then discussed the Talbott 
boys, and Willard expressed himself with indignation 
at boys doing crimes of that kind. Willard wanted to 
pay for the dinner, and I declined at first, but finally 
took fifty cents. In conversation with Scott he ob- 
served he would take me for a minister of the Christian 
church, and I answered that I was. He said he 
thought if he ever united with the church he would 
join the Christian church, and referred to his wife as a 
Presbyterian. Willard acquiesced in that, but said 
there was no man ever lived like Shakespeare, and 
declaimed a piece and remarked, "That's grand!" which 
observation I indorsed. Finally Scott said something 
about going, and I invited them, if they ever came 
that way, to call again, which they said they would be 
pleased to do, that they were going to Gallatin, where 
Willard said he had not been for ten years. I recog- 
nize the defendant. When he stopped at my house he 
had whiskers on the side of his face. I am not certain 

The Testimony. 79 

about the chin. He had a tolerably fair mustache, and 
his whiskers were darker outside than near the skin. 

Cross-examined : I am this confident the defend- 
ant is the man who stopped at my house that if he 
hadn't paid for the dinner I would say, "Mr. Willard, 
I would be pleased to have the amount of that board 
bill." [Laughter]. 

Ezra Saule testified : I live two miles northeast 
of Winston. I have seen the defendant here. I saw 
him on the line of the railroad, about one-fourth of a 
mile south of the track in the country, nearly two miles 
from Winston, between 4 and 6 o'clock on the day of 
the robbery. I live about forty or fifty rods north of 
the road. The meeting was half a mile from my 
house in a secluded place in the woods. I had started 
out for berries and to fetch my cows. It was a low 
place, heavily wooded on three sides and scattering on 
the other. I saw him under suspicious circumstances, 
and talked to him about an hour. We talked about the 
weather and Kansas. He pretended to be buying fat 
cows for that market; said he had lost a cow, and had 
been looking for her. He said he had a partner. I 
saw no partner, and on the saddles were packages like 
blankets or gum-coats. He said his partner was thirsty 
and had gone to D. C. Ford's for a drink. In about 
three-quarters of an hour a man came up from the 
opposite direction, whom I took for the partner. 

This partner appeared to be twenty-two years old, 
as I described him next day to Squire Jeffries, five feet 
eight or nine inches high, slender, hollow-stomached, 
with shoulders that leaned forward, and a general kind 

So The Testimofiy. 

of a consumptive mien. His beard was a little yellow 
fuz, and he looked as if he was trying to raise a mus- 
tache. Before seeing the man I struck on an old road 
not traveled for twenty years. There I found a horse 
hitched, saddled and bridled, and twenty yards from 
that was another. They were both bays, or rather one 
was a sorrel with white stockings on her hind legs, and 
then I saw this man. By and by his partner came up, 
and was much more sociable and communicative than 
the one first met. Next day I went to the trestle 
work on the railroad, where I discovered four horses 
had been hitched, and-then I found another, and here 
is a little trophy I found (producing a halter-strap.) 
I also saw a halter-strap picked up there by another 
man, which looked as if it had been cut off or broken 
through. I recognized the defendant as the man I saw 
that night. 

Cross-examined : I thought I had found a- horse- 
thief, and that he had a partner. The next time I saw 
this man was in the court house here in February, 
1883. I was here in response to a subpcena. I do not 
take more interest in this case than any citizen 
should. I shall not be disappointed if he is acquitted. 
I don't know that he was armed, but from the way in 
which he handled a coat on the ground, it seemed as if 
there was something heavy in the pockets, and I kind 
of imagined there might be some bull-dogs there, but I 
didn't see them. I noticed that the whiskers of this 
man were darker on the outside than near the skin. I 
mistrusted they were dyed. 

The Testimony, 8 1 


George W. McCrow, first witness for State, testi- 
fied: I live in Port Osage Township, Jackson county. 
I know Dick Liddil; have known him for the 
last five years. I remember hearing of the Winston 
robbery. There was a man left a wagon at my house 
some time after that robbery. The man was a stran- 
ger. The wagon has never been claimed, and is there 
yet. I know Lamartine Hudspeth. He lives six or 
seven miles from me. I know a sorrel horse that he 
owned before and after the robbery. I can not describe 
the horse particularly. 

Cross-examined : I have seen other sorrel horses 
at Hudspeth's. I am a brother-in-law of Mattie Col- 
lins, wife of Dick Liddil. 

W. R. JMcRoberts testified: In the spring and 
summer of iS8i, I was agent for the Wabash, at 
Richmond, Missouri. The express books were kept 
by W. L. Stewart. I know his handwriting; have 
seen him write every day for thirteen months. I find 
an entry of the shipment of a box from Lexington, 
Missouri, on May iS, iSSi. The entry is in Stewart's 
handwriting. The entry reads: "W. B. iiS,-^ May 
i8, Lexington; one box, 40 pounds; J. T. Ford; back 
charges $1.95 ; our charges 35 cents; total, collect, 

A/iss £ila Kifidio-g- testified: I live nine miles 
west of here, and four miles from Winston. I have 
seen Dick Liddil here. I will not state positively 


82 The Testimony. 

that I have seen him before, but I saw a man with 
features like him on July 15, iSSi, on the day of the 
Winston robbery. He had dark hair and whiskers. 
He came there about 11 :30 A. m. and stayed to dinner. 
There was no one with him. The house is a low 
frame, with trees all round, standing about 100 yards 
from the road that runs west. My mother and brother 
were there, and two of Mr. Mapes' girls. The oldest 
is a simple girl, eighteen or nineteen years old, with 
sore eyes. 

Cross-examined: The party I saw at our house 
had on a linen duster. 

Mrs. Samuel A. Kindigg^ mother of the last 
witness, testified : I have seen a man called Dick 
Liddil here in court. He looks like a man that took 
dinner at my house on the morning of the Friday on 
which the Winston robbery occurred. The man who 
called at our house was five feet nine inches high, with 
dark hair, light eyes and chin whiskers. His whiskers 
were just started out. I don't remember whether he 
had a mustache or not. The day I saw Liddil here I 
asked him if he had ever seen me before. He said 
that he had, and had taken dinner at my house. 

Cross-examined : I did not need to have Liddil 
pointe'd out to me. I knew him when I saw him. My 
conversation with him occurred last night as I was 
passing along the sidewalk. 

W^w. ^r«y testified: I live at Hamilton, Mis- 
souri. In the summer of 18S1 I lived two miles west 
of Hamilton, in a story and a half house, with a little 
stable back of it. I have seen the defendant. I saw 

The Testimony. 83 

him, or a man that looked like him, at m- house some 
two or three weeks before the Winston robbery. Was 
not home at the time, but found die defendant and 
three others there when I came home. One of them 
was sick with the toothache. 

This was a low, heavy-set man, with about a 
week's growth of sandy beard, and the other was a 
smaller man, with a large tooth. Have seen Dick 
Liddil since, but will not say that he was there, but 
believe him to be the man that was out in the stable 
most of the time. The day they called at my house I 
took the man with the toothache to town and he had 
his tooth pulled. 

Cross-examined : The party with the toothache 
was almost five feet eight or nine inches high. The 
defendant wore burnside whiskers of tolerable length, 
say two or three inches long, of light sandy color. 

R. E. Bray, son of the foregoing witness, Wm. 
Bray, testified: I have seen the defendant. I saw a 
man that looked like him at my father's house some, 
two or three weeks before the Winston robbery. There 
were three others with him. Three went away on 
horseback, and a low, heavy-set man, with the tooth- 
ache, with my father in his buggy. I was told Dick 
Liddil was here, and when I saw him I thought he 
was one of the men who stopped. I don't know that 
I would have recognized him if I had met him on the 

Airs. Wiliiam Bray testified to seeing the de- 
fendant at her husband's house some ten days or two 
weeks before the W^inston robbery. Three other men 

84 The Testimony. 

came with him. One of the men was a spare-built man 
with light hair, large teeth, slight mustache, and little 
or no beard. The heavy-set man had sandy beard of 
two or three days' growth. The defendant looks to 
me as like one of the men that was at my house. I 
talked to the defendant that day about the sickness of 
the heavy-set man. He thought his sickness was 
caused by the use of creosote for the toothache. The 
defendant told me they stopped the night before at A. 
Mr. Wolfenberger's, where they pulled and ate cherries 
in the morning. 

Cross-examined: The man called Liddil came 
to the house with the heavy-set man that was sick and 
asked for a vessel to carry water out to him. 1 gave 
him either a pitcher or a quart cup. In the meantime 
the heavy-set man got off his horse and got in the 
shade, so that his companion had to call out for him. 
He called him Dave, and Dave answered him. After 
that two others came up. They all had dinner at our 
house. They spent most of the time out of doors in 
the shade, in their shirt-sleeves. The defendant that 
day wore burnside whiskers, tolerably long, and a little 
thm mustache. I don't think he had any chin whiskers. 
He had a dark coat, grayish pants and black hat. 
Think I would recognize the defendant more easily 
than I would the man called Liddil should I meet him 
in the road. 

Re-direct: I would recognize the defendant more 
easily because he sat facing me at the table, and I 
talked with him. On three or four occasions when he 
came in the house I remember talking with him about 

The Testi?nony. 85 

physicians, and he said the sick man was anxious to go 
to Cameron to see a doctor there. They went south 
as they left. 

Mrs. David Franks testified : I have seen a 
man at our house eight miles west of here, that repre- 
sents the defendant from the face, upon July 13, tSSi. 
There were three men at dinner there that day. One 
was a tall, slim man that wore burnsides. Another 
was slender and lightly complexioned, while the third 
was heavier. 

Cross-examined : The defendant's hair was dark 
brown and his whiskers blacker than his mustache. 
He had a face tanned by riding in the wind,, and wore 
dark clothes and boots. This was two days before the 
Winston robbery. One of the other men wore a light 
checked plaid and a dark hat. 

Re-direct: I guess we live about three miles 
southeast of Mr. Jonas Potts' blacksmith-shop. 

Frank Wolfenberger testified: I live eight miles 
southwest of Gallatin. I have seen the defendant here 
in court. Saw him before at my home, in the latter 
part of June, iSSi. Three other men were with him. 
I recognize one of them as Dick Liddil. Another 
was a heavy-set man of about five feet ten inches. The 
other was not so tall, and round-shouldered, and in 
walking let his shoulders come in together forward. 
He had a slouchy gait. He had light whiskers, very 
short. The other heavy man had whiskers all round, 
that looked as if he had let them all start growing at 
the same time. It was evening when I met them. 
They had been helping themselves to feed, and then 

^6 The Testimony. 

went from the barn to the house. We washed for 
supper, and defendant and Liddil blackened their 
boots. The sick man said he would wait till morning, 
and the slouchy one didn't think he would black his 
boots at all. The sick man retired early, and in the 
morning asked me to examine his mouth, which I did. 
In 4:he evening previous the defendant asked if we had 
any opium. I said no, but as my wife had been sick I 
had some morphine. I fixed two doses in one. The 
defendant observed, "I reckon it is not poison," and 
the heavy man took it. At the supper-table the 
slouchy man's name was called. The defendant's 
name was McGinnis, and the sick man's name was 
given as Johnson. 

The defendant said he was married and so was 
the sick man, and the others were single. The de- 
fendant seemed to know all about fair horses, but more 
about runners than trotters. In the morning Liddil 
helped me to load my wood. The slouchy man pro- 
duced a bottle of stimulants and offered it to me, but I 
declined. Then they sampled it lightly themselves. 
The arrangement with the defendant had been that if 
the sick man was not able to leave I should take him to 
Kidder in a buggy. The prisoner gave me fifty cents 
to buy quinine with, but I still owe him that sum, as he 
had left before I returned with the quinine. Since I 
first saw the defendant in the Gallatin jail I went in 
there by myself, and after some preliminary talk with 
the defendant, I said: "I guess I had the pleasure of 
entertaining you and three other men one night." He 
looked at me slightly and then down and said: "I 

The Testitnony. 87 

have no remembrance of it." Said I: "I guess I 
did. You and three other men, and one was quite 
sick." He looked up in a kind of study and shook his 
head and said: "I don't remember. I have no rec- 
ollection of it." I have since seen Dick Liddil and 
recognized him as the man I saw at my house. 

Cross-exa?nined ; The defendant when at my 
house wore burnside whiskers about three inches long, 
and a light mustache. Liddil at that time had a 
beard all over his face, about three or four week's 
growth. His mustache was not so long as now. 

Re-direct: I am positive the defendant is the 
man who was in my house on that occasion. 

Airs. James Lindsay testified: I live at Chilli- 
cothe. I am a sister of the last witness. I saw the 
defendant at my brother's in June, 18S1, about two 
weeks before the Winston robbery. Three others 
came with him. I recognize Liddil as one of them. 
He had a good appearance. Had a mustache and had 
not recently been shaved. Another of the three, who 
was sick with neuralgia at the time, had a beard all 
over his face. I first saw the defendant, who rode up 
to the gate, and said that they had a sick man with 
them and asked if they could be entertained for the 
night. The fourth man was rather green looking. I 
remember the defendant having a conversation on 
some religious topic with my sister-in-law. He 
seemed to be a very religious man. I am sure the 
defendant is the man I saw that day. 

Cross-examined : The man I saw at my house 
had burnside whiskers and a mustache. In the morn- 

88 The Testimony. 

ing after Frank James was out eating cherries under 
the trees and Liddil was with him. I would have 
known either the defendant or Liddil if I had met 
them on road before the surrender. I never forget a 
face. I remember seeing Mr. Johnson here at the 
June teriTJ. I do not remember seeing Mr. Philips. 
[Mr. Philips was not present in June.] 

Dr. Wm. E. Black testified: I live at Gallatin, 
Missouri ; have seen the defendant since the surrender ; 
had a few words in the jail with him ; I talked with 
him in jail at Independence ; he spoke of the merits of 
different actors ; I believe he said he had seen Keene 
play Richard III, at Nashville, and also seen Lawrence 
Barrett, McCullough, and, I think, he spoke of Ward 
as a favorite actor with him, and that he delineated the 
Shakespearean characters he played better than any 
one he knew, being a young man ; he also spoke of 

D. Mathews testified : I live in Clay county, 
Missouri, near Kearney, four and a half miles from 
Mrs. Samuels; I lost a horse on Jun3 19 — before the 
Winston robbery — a sorrel, with a blazed face and 
white hind feet ; I got him some time in August after 
the robbery ; he was at a farmer's by the name of 
Miller, in Ray county. 

Cross-examined : This horse was fifteen and a 
half hands high. The blaze was two inches wide and 
extended from his eyes down over his nose. I re- 
covered him through a reward I had offered for him. 

Wm. R. Roberts \s.%\\^Q. A'. Hive in Clay county. 
I remember the Winston robbery. I took up a bay 

The 7\stimo}iy. 89 

mare about the end of July or first of August. She 
was taken up on my farm in Clay county and I turned 
her over to Sheriff Timberlake, who told me that he 
was going to take her tol^iberty. To the best of my 
recollection I took her up about a week after the Win- 
ston robbery. 

Cross-examined : The mare had a small star in 
the forehead and a white left hind foot. 

Mrs. Luidsay was recalled and testified that Mrs. 
Wolfenberger was a sister of hers and could not at- 
tend at this trial on account of sickness. I said I saw 
Mr. Johnson here in June, but I was frightened at the 
time. I know I have seen him, but can not say when. 
I noticed my mistake as I left the court room. 

Court took a recess for dinner at this point, and 
the State announced its expectation of closing in a few 
moments after recess. 

After recess Frank R. O'Neil, of the Republican^ 
was called to the stand, and, having stated that he had 
counseled with no one touching the questions submit- 
ted last evening for his answer to-day, was informed 
by the court that the law did not regard communica- 
tions to the press as privileged. Mr. O'Neil, at the 
suggestion of Mr. Shanklin, of the State's counsel, 
submitted a paper to the court containing a statement 
of his position. This paper was afterward read by 
witness in open court. It is simply a disclaimer of any 
attempt to obstruct the process of justice, but states 
that after giving his pledge of confidence to the de- 
fendant before the surrender, he afterward, to some 
extent, acted as adviser for the defendant, and should 

go The Testimony. 

on that account be excused from answering. Witness 
further declined to state whether any of the parties pres- 
ent before the surrender with the defendant and him- 
self were called as witnesses for the defense in this 
case. The court reserved its decision on the question 
of compelling witness to answer. 

James R. Ttmde?'/a^e test'i^ed: In i8Si I lived 
in Clay county, and was its sheriff. I know Mr. 
Roberts. At that time he lived in the northeast por- 
tion of the county. I went out to his place and got a 
bay mare with a star on her forehead shortly after the 
Winston robbery. I kept her at Liberty for ten or 
fifteen days, and then the owner claimed her. The 
owner was named Graham. He afterward traded her 
to a livery man named Reed, who kept her at his 
stable, which is next to mine. 


Mr. Wallace here announced that the state rested. 


Governor Johnson arose and said the state had 
surprised the defense by so suddenly resting its case. 
In justice to the defense, he asked the court for an 
adjournment so they could have a consultation, to pre- 
pare testimony, make it compact, and oth erwise pre- 
pare. He asked, therefore, an adjournment until to- 
morrow morning. 

The court remarked that as counsel had mani- 
fested no disposition to delay the court, and he there- 
fore granted the request. 

The Testimony. 9^ 

"I will adjourn the court until to-morrow at 8 


The court was opened promptly at 8 o'clock to an 
audience of four men in the auditorium, sixteen ladies 
on the stage, two representatives of the press, the jury, 
prisoner and court officials, while not one of the coun- 
sel for either state or defendant was present. 

Business begun by calling old man Ford for fur- 
ther cross-examination, and he denied ever having 
said to Ann Duvall or anyone else that he did not 
know or had never seen Frank James. 

MR. W. M. rush's address. 

The case for the defendant was presented by 
Mr. Rush. He began by returning thanks for the 
maintenance of health on the part of all concerned in 
the case so far, as health was a great factor in an in- 
telligent and wise consideration of so important a case. 
The%peaker then enlarged upon the importance of the 
case, and declared it the greatest that had ever engaged 
the attention of a jury in Daviess county. At '.he out- 
set Mr. Wallace had declared his purpose to establish 
a conspiracy, and to follow the band of conspirators 
from its organization in 1879 in Nashville, up to and 
even into the Winston robbery. He had done this to 
a certain extent, but by the testimony of Dick Liddil 

and his nature and character would be exhibited to 

the jury in all its immoral enormity. — Whatever cor- 
roboration other witnesses had given the continuous 

92 The Testiinony. 

story of the state — these witnesses and their characters 
would be exposed for the contemplation of the jury. 
Coming to the facts alleged to be proved, Mr. Rush 
averred Frank James was not at the Winston robbery. 
The only witness who placed him there was James A. 
Liddil, and his testimony was of such a character 
that, unsupported, it could not be credited. More- 
over, in turn, the speaker alluded to the Bolton and 
Ford witnesses, and said that people capable of aiding 
in such a tragedy as was enacted there, and with the 
ghost of recent death in their house, were able to 
entertain guests and make merry with neighbors, had 
such blunted moral sensibilities that the truth was not 
in them, or they would lie for a purpose, and that pur- 
pose was manifest. Referring to the witnesses in this 
section of the country, the speaker promised to show 
by witnesses present at the blacksmith shop and other 
places purported to have been visited by "the gang," 
were mistaken in identifying any one of them as Frank. 
Moreover, a witness on the train would be introduced 
to show Frank was not on the Winston train, and that 
the man seen in the woods a few hours before the rob- 
bery, by Ezra Sule, was not Frank James. Coming 
again to Dick Liddil's evidence, the defense claimed 
his story in court and his tale to Governor Crittenden 
did not agree, and that lying thus in any one particu- 
lar his testimony was unworthy of belief. The speaker 
then took up the impelling motive of the interested 
witnesses in this case, and the nature of the prosecu- 
tion. Dick Liddil's motive was that of revenge, 
superinduced by cowardice. He killed Wood Hite, 

The Testimony. 93 

feared Jesse and betrayed the band. He agreed to 
swear them into prison or to the scaffold, and he is 
•nerely fulfilling that agreement. The Boltons and 
Fords had the motive arising from the fact that Bob 
Ford had assassinated Jesse James, a brother of the 
defendant. The motive of the prosecution was re- 
venge. The officers of Kansas City had been cheated 
out of the reward offered for his apprehension by the 
surrender of the defendant. Referring again to the 
Liddil, Boltons and Fords, he declared a conspiracy 
existed among them to down the defendant. As to the 
witnesses, one and all, in this region of country, the 
speaker in answer to their alleged identification of the 
defendant would say they had seen a man, but the de- 
•"ense would prove that man was not Frank James. 
- x'he speaker here enlarged upon the character of the 
defendant. For fifteen years he had been hunted 
throuo-h a country grid-ironed with railroads and with 
a web of wires overhead to ascertain his whereabouts. 
Yet he lived quietly and led a laborious life at Nash- 
ville from 1S79 to March, 1881. The defense admitted 
this and confessed he left because of Bill Ryan's ar- 
rest. This was not the first time he had been forced 
to abandon his home, because Jesse, with outlawed 
companions had driven him out in the world. He, 
Frank James, was an outlaw, made so against his pro- 
test and against his appeals. The speaker then referred 
to the civilization that denied James citizenship and kept 
him from his home. He referred to the fact that 
other men, poor Bill Poole among the number, had 
been warned away from here, and returning had been 

94 The Testimony. 

shot down from behind. The civilization that per- 
mitted a party to sneakingly surround his mother's 
home, maim her and kill an infant brother in cold 
blood, warned him not to trust himself near people 
capable of such deeds of violence. He had been 
refused amnesty ; had had governors refuse him clem- 
ency. This was not the place for him, and the defense 
was prepared to prove he was not in Missouri in 1881, 
nor at the Winston robbery. 


Sa)}i7iel T. Brosius was the first witness called 
and testified as follows: 

I live at Gallatin; have lived here for the past two 
years. I am a lawyer by profession. I was on the 
train that was robbed at Winston. We were about on 
time at Winston. There was a commotion on the front 
platform of our car, and two men commenced firing as 
I thought at the time, directly through the car. As the 
two men came in they called out, "hold up" or "show 
up," and I looked squarely into the face of the smaller 
of the two men to see that he noticed me ; I held up my 
hands. As soon as the shooting commenced I saw 
that the conductor was hit. The two men continued to 
advance through the car till the larger of the two came 
up and nearly passed, when the conductor commenced 
sinking. He caught him, and the other man then came 
up on the other side. They hustled the conductor out 
on the platform, then came back, and passed me 
again, going out at the front end of the car. There 
was firing on the outside after they passed out. The 

The Tesiimony. 95 

larger man was full-faced, with beard all over his face, 
and would weigh one hundred and eighty to two hun- 
dred pounds. He was perhaps a full half-head taller 
than the conductor. I do not think the defendant is 
the man. 

Cross-cxarnitied : Think I was erect a full half 
minute of the time during which the men were in the 
car. I noticed that the bullets all hit in the ceiling. 
The big man did not have on a duster. I could not 
swear to a stitch of clothing that either of the two men 
had on. The smaller man was dark-complexioned and 
had whiskers three or four inches long. Plenty of peo- 
ple have heard me tell about what I saw. They would 
tell me that I was too scared to notice anything, and I 
would assent to that to avoid further inquiry. I don't 
remember telling parties who came to me after the rob- 
bery for a description of the robbers that I could not 
describe them. Believe I told somebody that the muz- 
zle of the robber's revolver looked pretty large and that 
I thought that it was an eight-inch navy revolver. I 
did not tell Mr. T. B. Gates, the day after the robbery, 
that 1 could not recognize either of the men, and that I 
was under the seat. I don't believe I could recognize 
either of the robbers right now if he was brought into 
the court room and placed before me. If any citizen 
ever said that I told him that I was under the seat, he 

Re-direct: I don't remember a conversation with 
Mr. Eli Dennis in which I stated that the shooting 
was done so quick and there was such confusion that I 
couldn't tell how the men looked or anything about it. 

^6 The Testimony, 

I don't remember telling Mr. Robert L. Tomlin on the 
first of August, after the robbery, that one of the rob- 
bers looked as though he was fifteen feet high, and that 
I was so excited I couldn't tell how the men looked at 
all. If I had such a conversation I made the state- 
ments to avoid inquiry, as so many people were asking 
me about it. I did not tell my law partner, INIr. Gil- 
lingham, in the presence of C. L. Ewing and A. Bal* 
linger, that I was so badly excited I could not remem- 
ber anything as to how these men looked. When I 
described them before, it was as I did to-day — that they 
both had whiskers all over their faces. 

Re-cross-exami7iation : I am certain the defend- 
ant is not one of the men I saw on the train. 

Re-direct: I went to Nashville with the following 
note from the defendant: 

Mr. Brosius, go to see Mr. Clint. Cantwell by all 
means. He lives in sight of the Jeff Hyde property. 
Remember me kindly to all the family. 
(Signed) B. J. Woodson. 

May 3, 1883. 

I did not go to Nashville to get testimony to sup- 
port an alibi. Did not see the accused until three 
weeks after my return. I am not interested in this trial. 
If the defendant is guilty I want him punished. 

Fletcher W. Horn testified: Live in Nashville, 
Tennessee. I am now connected with the detective force 
of that city. I know B. J. Woodson. I believe I got 
acquainted with him in 1S77. I first formed his acquaint- 
ance in the summer of 1877, and last saw him in March, 

The Testimony. 97 

1 88 1. He resided most of the time in the White's 
Creek settlement. He was either farming or hauling 
logs for the Indiana Lumber Company. Then I saw 
him as often as once a week. Saw him last in Nash- 
ville, about the twenty-sixth of March, the time that 
Bill Ryan was arrested. When I knew him he wore 
sandy whiskers, short on the sides, and fuller on the 
chin, say four or five inches long. He was a hard- 
working man, who conducted himself as a gentleman. 
His associates were men of standing and position. I 
have seen Dick Liddil there in 1S79 or 1880. I knew 
him as Smith. Met him in Bosse's saloon at Nashville. 
Never saw Liddil and the defendant together. The 
next time I was introduced to him by Squire Adams, 
on the corner of Dedrick and Cherry streets as Dick 
Liddil. This was after he had been in Alabama. I 
knew Jesse James as J. B. Howard. Remember his 
buying a blooded horse in partnership with Taylor, the 
blacksmith. Afterward he bought the horse "Jim 
Malone." He owned the horse "Jim Scott." In 1877 
I saw Howard and Woodson together once or twice in 
the pool room. Believe I knew Jim Cummings, but 
am not positive. Did not know the Hites. Never saw 
B. J. Woodson in company with Liddil or Cummings. 
Never saw Liddil and defendant together. I saw very 
little of Liddil, and that only by accident. Was sub- 
pa'naed here for the state. Was present in June on 
transportation furnished me by Squire Earthman. 

Cross-exaniincd : Did not know Woodson and 
Howard were the James Brothers, or I would have 
tried to take them. 


^8 The Testimony. 

As far as I know Dick Liddil deported himself 
well while in Nashville. The defendant has since 
alluded to me as a "Falstaff." Never saw any of the 
men I have spoken of in Nashville, After the arrest of 
Bill Ryan, I went with Mr. Sloan to Mrs. Hite's, and 
sat round while he asked questions. Mr. Sloan pro- 
fessed at that time to be attorney for Frank James. I 
wrote a letter to Thomas Furlong, in St. L!ouis, asking 
transportation for Mr. Sloan as a witness for the state ; 
also for Mr. Moffatt, Wm. Earthman, Mrs. Hite and 
myself. I made this request for transportation for Mr. 
Sloan after I knew he was attorney for the accused. 
Mr. Sloan did not request me to get him transportation. 

Re-direct: The letter is dated July 39, 1SS3. As 
far as I saw, Liddil conducted himself as a gentleman, 
though I didn't see him as frequently as I did the de- 

Ray7no7id B. Shaft testified : Am an attorney at 
law. I live in Nashville. I knew the defendant by 
the name of Woodson some time during the winter of 
1876-77. That winter I discovered he was living in 
the old Felix Smith house, that had never had a light 
in it since the war. I have crossed the ferry with him 
and seen him driving a four-horse team or sometimes 
mules. I had no intimate personal acquaintance with 
him. I last saw him in Nashville, March 36, 18S1. 
Once that day I saw him at Jonas Taylor's blacksmith 
shop, and then again near the Louisville depot. He 
had light sandy whiskers all over his face, short on 
cheeks and longer on the chin, and a mustache. I 
don't think he showed evidence of shaving any part of 

The Testimony. 99 

his face. He was dressed in a light colored coat, raw- 
hide boots, pants within his boots, and a soft black 
derby hat. I remember seeing the defendant after 
that. I once was a witness in the various continuances 
and hearings of an assault and battery case. I never 
missed him from his place till after March 26, 1881. 

Cross-examined : I remember telling you in the 
Maxwell House, at Nashville, that I thought T was the 
last man in Nashville who had seen Frank James. That 
I saw him on horseback shaking hands with a man, and 
saying, "good-bye. I may never see you again." I 
did not know that from February 5 to March 26, i8Sr, 
Woodson or James was not doing anything, or that he 
was living in Nashville with Jesse James. I went up to 
Mrs. Hite's as attorney for Frank James, and I'educed 
her statement to writing. I knew Horn was a witness 
for the state. Mrs. Hite didn't sign it; and Horn 
signed a statement that she acknowledged it to be true. 
I took Horn along, because I considered it would save 
me a trip to Gallatin if he came here. He could con- 
tradict Mrs. Hite if she made a contrary statement. I 
remember telling you at the Maxwell that perhaps you 
had better see a man named Sullivan, who pretended 
to know a great deal about this matter. I was Frank 
James' attorney at the time. I remember observing to 
you that the papers said I was Frank James' legal at- 
torney before I knew it myself. 

Re-direct : I was engaged as the defendant's local 
attorney August 8, and saw Mrs. Hite on August 13. 
Think I saw Mr. Wallace at the Maxwell a day or two 
after, say about August 17. 

lOO The Testimony. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Mofitgotnery testified: I live a 
mile and a half east of Winston. I remember the 
Winston robbery. Some strange men ate at our house 
that night. The clock struck seven before they finished. 
The younger man was the taller and light complex- 
ioned, with burnside whiskers. The older man had 
dark whiskers and mustache, and dark clothes. One 
horse was a bay and the other a shade lighter. They 
had some bundles tied to their saddles. 

Q. Is the defendant one of those men ? A. I 
think not, but I can not be positive. 

Cross-examined : I think both horses were bay but 
one was lighter than the other. The bigger man had 
whiskers all over his face, chin and all. 

Afiss Missouri Montgofnery testified : I live a mile 
and a half east of Winston. Am a daughter of the last 
witness. I remember the night of the Winston robbery, 
and remember two parties coming to our house that 
evening about six o'clock on horseback. They re- 
mained there half an hour, I suppose, and got their 
suppers at the end of the house in the open air. I don't 
think I saw the defendant there. I wouldn't say posi- 
tively. I don't think he resembles either of them in the 

Cross-examined : The older of the two had whisk- 
ers all over his face of a brown color. He was a 
rather heavy set man, and wore dark brown clothes. I 
never saw Jesse James. The other man was tall and 
very slim; had light hair and no whiskers, except a 
little on each side. Neither of them had a large blaze- 
faced sorrel horse. 

The TestifHony. loi 

yohn L. Dean testified: Am a farmer and live 
seven miles southwest of here. I know Jonas Potts. I 
remember a conversation with him at his shop Novem- 
ber 20, 1882. He said he had been to Independence 
to see Frank James, and that he had never seen him 
before. I remember on another day that two rhen 
came up to Potts' shop in a carriage and wanted to get 
a neck-yoke fixed, and that Potts left the shop, and 
when he came back was somewhat excited, and said 
they were the men he had shod horses for before the 
Winston robbery. The larger of the two men was a 
low, heavy-set, dark complexioned man, v/ith heavy 
whiskers. The other was about my size, with fair 
complexion and no beard at all. 

Cross-exavii7ied : I told Mr. Rush what I knew 
about this matter. I don't remember talking to Mr. 
Rush about this case at Winston in April or May last. 
I don't think Potts was in liquor when I talked to him. 

Marion Duncan testified : I am a farmer and live 
about three and a half miles southeast of Winston. I 
know Jonas Potts. I remember conversing with him 
about Jesse James along in the fore part of the winter 
of 1S82-3. I don't remember any conversation with 
him before that. Remember Potts' saying to me that 
Jesse James was at his shop ; that he had seen his 
picture at Winston, and he was the very man he had 
shod a horse for. 

Cross-examined : Mr. Potts had been to town that 
evening and was pretty boozy in that conversation. 

Gus A. Chapman testified: Know Mr. Potts. I 
remember him saying to me after his return from Gal- 

I02 The Testimony. 

latin jail, where he had seen the defendant, that he 
didn't know if he had ever seen him before and could 
not tell. 

Wm. E. i?ay testified : I know Frank Wolfen- 
berger. I saw fiim in Winston after Frank James had 
been brought here. Did not hear him say that he did 
not think he would be able to recognize him. 

Here the defense offered in evidence the record of 
the trial and conviction of Dick Liddil for horse steal- 
ing in Vernon county in 1874, which after objection 
was admitted to be read to the jury. Recess till 
I :30 p. M. 

Joseph O. Shelby^ usually alluded to as "Gen. 
Joe Shelby," was the first witness called after recess. 
He testified as follows: 

By Mr. Philips : I have for thirty-four years 
resided in Lafayette county. I live nine miles from 
Lexington and nearer Page City. I remember Jesse 
James, Dick Liddil, Bill Ryan and Jim Cummings 
coming to my place in November, 1880. I was spread- 
ing hemp at the time, working some twelve or fifteen 
men, and when I returned home that evening I found 
four men with horses in my yard. Jesse James was 
there. Young Cummings I knew before, and this man 
T^iddil passed as Mr. Black at that time. In the morn- 
ing I had a conversation with Jesse James in the pres- 
ence of Dick Liddil, in which I said that a couple of 
young men had been arrested for supposed complicity 
with the alleged bank robbery at Concordia, and that I 
didn't think they had anything to do with it ; and I asked 
Jesse James if he knew anything about that affair to tell 

The Testi7nony. 103 

me, and he said, pointing to Dick Liddil, "There is 
the man that hit the dutch cashier over the head." 

I remember in the month of November, 188 1, 
meeting Liddil and Jesse James in my lane, and when 
I asked Jesse who was^ ahead of them he replied, Jim 
Cummings and Hite. I remember meeting Jesse James 
and Liddil agaia in the fall of iSSi, and of asking 
Jesse where Frank was, and of his announcement that 
Frank's health was such that he had been south for 
years, and that when I asked the same question of Lid- 
dil he announced that he had not seen him for two 
years. I reckon I know Cummings better than any 
man except the Fords and his own people. I knew him 
in the army and since the war. He has been at my 
house a dozen times. He was with me in the Confed- 
erate army. I have not seen Frank James since 1872. 
I believe he sits right there now. With the permission 
of the court, can I be tolerated to shake hands with an 
old soldier? 

The court. No, sir, not now. 

Witness. I did not see him in jail. I have not 
seen him since 1872. I am correct about it, sir, when 
I say that the four parties to whom I have alluded by 
name did not include Frank James, who was not with 
them. With regard to the arrival of Mrs. Frank James 
at Page City in the spring of 188 1, I have this to say. 
It seems a lady arrived at Page City. I can not talk 
dates, like any other farmer, and Mrs. Scott, a widow 
woman, whose husband was captain of the 3d Loui- 
siana, and who died at Wilson's Creek, sent her son over 

I04 The Testiniony. 

for me, and stated there was a lady there who wanted 
to see me. 

I went at once. Mrs. James said to me: "I am 
in distress. This man Liddil and others are commit- 
ting depredations in the south,» and they are holding 
my husband amenable for it, as he has been charged 
Vv'ith being connected with them. I have come over on 
purpose to ask you to intercede with the Governor." I 
told her there was no necessity for that, and no hope of 
success. I told her further that Governor Woodson had 
talked fco me at the Planter's House. For Hardin I had 
no respect at all. She wanted me to interfere in her 
husband's behalf with the governor. I told her it was 
folly to do so, and advised her to go home to her father. 
I think I remained half an hour talking to her. She 
remained at Mrs. Scott's all night. She didn't stop at 
■my house. She could have stopped there if she had 
desired As to the sewing machine, I don't know what 
time the sewing machine arrived there. She simply 
gave Mr Birch, the agent at the depot, directions for 
shipping it, and I don't know where she directed it to 
be shipped, at all. I was only assisting a woman in dis- 
tress, and if she had been Gennison's wife, the most 
obnoxious man in the country " 

Here the court stopped the witness short with a 
severe reprimand. The fact was, and it was rapidly 
becoming patent to everybody in the court room, that 
Mr. Shelby was drunk. A sample of this testimony 
will be given verbatim a little further on. 

Continuing, the witness said: Mrs. James left 
orders with the agent for the shipment of the sewing 

The Tcstivwjiy. 105 

machine. She was a lone woman, with a little child, 
and crying, and any man who would have faltered in 
giving suggestion or aid ought to be ashamed of him- 
self. I had known Frank James since 1862. I know 
him now, the first time I have seen him for twelve years. 
I got acquainted with him in our army. 

Cross-examined — By Mr. Wallace : This sewing 
machine you didn't see at all.^ 

"Nobody knows better than yourself that I didn't 
see it." 

The Court. Answer the question in a straightfor- 
ward manner. 

Witness. I did not. 

"You didn't have anything to do with it at all.'*" 

"Nothing in the world." 

"Sir, you are just as sure of that as you are of any- 
thing else?" 

"Yes, and I am just as sure of anything else." 

To the Court: "1 would like to know if the Judge 
is going to permit a lawyer to insult an unarmed man, 
who is a witness in this case.''" 

The Court. Every witness comes in here unarmed, 

By Mr. Wallace: What are your initials.^ 

"If you are desirous of knowing go to this bank 
here and you will find out." 

The Court. Answer his question. 

Witness. Joe O. Shelby is my name. 

"Then your initials would be J. O. S." 

"Go to the banks in this town and you will find it 
Joe O. S." 

io6 The Testimony. 

"Look at the way-bill and see if that has 'J. O. S.' 
as the consignor of that sewing machine! There may 
be a great many J. O. S.'s, who in that section have 
those initials beside you." 

"You had better go and inquire." 

The Court, I won't have any more nonsense of 
that kind. You will have to answer questions as they 
are put. 

Witness (to court). You are not protecting me 
at all. 

Mr. Philips. I simply suggest to the court that 
under the circumstances this examination had perhaps 
better be deferred. 

Witness. Not at all. Better let it go on. Now 
is the time for it to go on. 

The Court (to witness). "General Shelby, you 
are a man that I respect and a man with a state-wide 
reputation as a gentleman. We did not expect such 
demeanor in this courtroom. I must admonish you 
that I can not permit this to go on any further." 

Witness. "I want to know from the court, if, 
after having said what he (Mr. Wallace) has, he is to 
charge me with receiving a bill of lading as J. O. S." 

To this there was no reply. 

Mr. Wallace. "I ask you if when Mrs. Frank 
.lames came there with a sewing machine to be shipped 
to Mrs. B. J. Woodson, you did not yourself become 
the consignor and ship it thence to Independence for the 
purpose of keeping any one else from getting track 
of it.?" 

"No, sir, 1 did not." 

The Testimony. 107 

"I ask you 11 this 'J. O. S.' doesn't indicate that?" 

"No, sir, not at all. She arrived there as I related. 
I gave her a note to Mr. Russell, agent of the Missouri 
Pacific at Independence, to take it and send her up to 

But it would be wearisome to follow the witness 
word for word. He testified further: I saw Dick Lid- 
dil. I was not brought into court to see if he was the 
man ; neither you nor anybody else can bring me in 
anywhere. Nobody knows better than yourself that I 
was not brought in to look at Mr. Liddil. The man 
I law was Mr. Black, alias Liddil, the thief. 

The Court. I want no more epithets of that kind 
in the court room. 

Witness. Very good, Judge. He has forced it on 
me. If I am guilty of a misdemeanor, correct me or 
punish me for it. 

The Court. I shall do it. 

Mr. Wallace. You saw Liddil down at Capt. 
Ballinger's house, afterward, didn't you? 

"You don't propose to invade the household of 
Capt. Ballinger, a soldier of the federal army?" 

"It. is very wrong for a rebel soldier to make 
remarks about what occurred in a federal soldier's 

Mr. Wallace. The war is over. 

Witness. I don't like to allude to a visit to a gen- 
tleman's home. That is indelicate and improper. 

"Did you see Liddil there?" 

"I did, sir. I saw him like a viper, curled up in 

io8 The Testimony. 

♦'You saw him again at the hotel the other night, 
or was that a drummer that you took for him?" 

"No, sir; by no means. 

"Were you not about to kill the drummer, think- 
ing he was Dick Liddil?" 

"I have lived thirty-four years in this state and 
never killed anybody yet," 

"Answer the question." 

"I was not." 

"This gentleman was seated at the table opposite 
to me, and he dropped his knife and fork and looked at 
me. I have his card in my pocket. He is a Michigan 
man, not one of your people at all, but a better man 
than yourself for instance. He was staring at me. I 
am not in the habit of staring at men on the street, 
especially ladies anyway, and I must have made some 
casual rerhark about it." 

"Did you get your pistol out?" 

"No, sir!" 

"Didn't the marshal of Lexington see you draw 
your pistol?" 

"No, sir; he is a liar, or anybody else, if he says 

The Court. I want no more such remarks as that, 
Gen. Shelby, or I will fine you $50. 

In this way the testimony proceeded. Witness tes- 
tified that Dick Liddil had partaken of his meals, and 
fed his corn to Liddil's horse. That was in 18S0, and 
Jesse James was with him and Cummings and Ryan. 
Did not know that Jesse James was wanted by the officers ? 
Knew it was asserted that he had been guilty of misde- 

The Testimony . 109 

meanors. Never told any officer where they could find 
him, but did once notify the Chicago and Alton and Mis- 
souri Pacific people that if they were under the appre- 
hension that George Sheppard had killed hiin they 
were being misled, and that he was not dead. The 
last time Jesse was at my house was at Page City, in 
the fall of 1S81, where I saw Frank James in 'S72, 
which is the last time I saw him. He was bleeding at 
the lungs, and Dr. Orear was attending him. I don't 
know that he was an outlaw then, or that he is one ro- 
day. I don't know that he was then fleeing from the 

He was at my house some sixty or eighty days that 
time, and everybody knew it. When the four men 
came to my house, as I have already stated. T told 
them I could only accommodate two of them for the 
night. Bill Ryan and Jesse James stayed all night 
with me. The others stopped with a man from Illmois 
named Graham, who had been in the Federal army. 
I am certain that Ryan was not pointed out to me as 
the man who hit the Dutch cashier over the head. 

As witness started to leave the court room he 
asked permission to go over and shake hands with the 
defendant. This the court refused saying: 

"You can call on him some other time." Where- 
upon Shelby nodded to the accused as he walked out, 
and said : 

"God bless you, old fellow." 

Frank Tutt testified : I reside at Kansas City. 
Prior to living there I lived at Lexington, Missouri. I am 
a coal-oil inspector. I know Dick Liddil. I remem- 

no The Testimony. 

ber meeting him in front of Gardener's saloon at Kan- 
sas City just after the Ford boys had been pardoned, 
after the trial at St. Joe. Mr. James M. Crowder was 
present at the time. On that occasion Liddil, when 
asked where Frank James was, said he didn't know the 
whereabouts of Frank, and that he and Jesse didn't 
get along well together, and he hadn't seen him for 

Cross-exa7nined : I had been pursuing the James 
boys for a couple of months, but never caught any of 

James S. Demastus testified for the defense, as 
follows: I reside in Richmond, Missouri ; am a justice of 
the peace there. I remember the testimony of Mrs. 
Bolton at the Wood Hite inquest. I understood her to 
testify that she had not seen Frank James for about two 
years, and then at her father's. She was then living 
at the Harbison Place, and had been there about two 

Cross-examined : She named Wood Hite, Dick 
Liddil, Clarence Hite and Jesse James as members of 
the gang. The answer as to how long since she had 
seen Frank James was given in an examination con- 
ducted by Mr. Farris, a juror, after the formal exami- 
nation, and as much for curiosity as anything else. 

Here Mr. Philips said that Gen. Shelby was at 
the door, and desired to make a statement. The 
court's permission being given. Gen. Shelby said: 

"Before I say anything more I desire to say that if 
anything I said offended the dignity of the court yes- 

The Testimony. in 

terday, I regret it exceedingly. As to other parties, I 
have no regrets to make." 

Here ensued a running colloquy between witness 
and the court, in which the court severely censured 
witness for coming into court yesterday in a condition 
unfit to testify, and fined him for that offense $io, 
which the witness paid and left the court. 

Javjes C. Mason testified : I reside in Ray 
county; remember Captain Ford stating to me that he 
didn't think Frank James was at Winston or Blue Cut; 
that he had settled down and left the boys; remember 
also a conversation with Mrs. Bolton, when she said 
that Frank James was trying to lead an honest life, and 
was a different man from Jesse; that Frank would go 
away and try to settle down, when Jesse would come to 
live with him, and the detectives would come and he 
would have to leave. 

Here a wrangle came up over a question said to 
have been propounded to little Willie Bolton by the de- 
fense. A reference to the official report showed no 
such question had been asked, whereupon Willie Bol- 
ton was recalled in order that the defense might bring 
their impeachment battery to bear. 

W. Bolton being recalled denied ever telling 
James C. Mason shortly after Jesse James' death that 
he had never seen Frank James, or that the others had 
been at his mother's house, and had said that Frank 
James had quit them. He didn't remember ever tell- 
ing Mason anything at all about the outlaws. 

James C. Mason, resuming the stand, testified 
that Willie Bolton had made at the time and place 

112 The Testimony. 

stated the statement which he just now denied having 

Annanias Dtival testified : \ live in Ray county 
and know Mr. J. T. Ford. I know all of the family. 
Know Willie Bolton. Had a conversation with John 
T. Ford, in which he said he never saw and didn't 
know Frank James, and did not know that he was any- 
where in this country. 

Cross-examined : Never heard the Fords say that 
any of the gang were there. 

W. D. Rice testified : I reside three miles south of 
Richmond, Missouri, and half a mile from J. T. Ford. 
I remember a conversation with Willie Bolton a day or 
two after the Wood Hite inquest, in which he said he 
had told a story before the coroner's jury, and that his 
mother had made him do it. 

Cross-examined : Believe this was before Frank 
James had given himself up. 

James Duval^ recalled for the State, testified in 
answer to Mr. Wallace: The horse my brother lost 
was a sorrel. We got him from Mr. Sawyer, and I 
found him in February, 1883, in charge of Bob Hall, at 
Samuels' Station, in Nelson county, Kentucky. The 
horse was lost November 10, 1S80. 

John T. Sa7)iuels, called for the defense, testified : 
I am a farmer. I am a half-brother to defendant. I 
live three miles northeast of Kearney with Mrs. Sam- 
uels. Have lived there with her twenty-two years con- 
tinuously. It was in 1876 that I last saw the defendant 
before the Winston I'obbery. He was, married then. 
Last saw him in January last. Never saw him from 

The Testimony. 113 

1S76 up to that time. I was at home in the summer of 
iSSi. Was not absent at any time during that sum- 
mer. Saw Jesse James during that summer about the 
first of May at my mother's. He was in company with 
Dick Liddil. He told me he came from Kentucky. 
My mother and father were home when Dick and Jesse 
arrived. I heard my mother ask Jesse where was 
Frank, and he replied he had left him in Kentucky, and 
that he was in bad health and was talking of going 
south. She then asked Liddil the same question and 
received a similar answer. Jesse James was at our 
house two or three months that summer off and on. I 
last saw him there about the last of July or first of 
August that summer. During that time I saw at our 
house Dick Liddil, Clarence and Wood Hite, and 
Charley Ford, and no one else. The James boys and 
Wood Hite are cousins. 

Continuing, the witness said : Wood Hite was 
rather tall, with high forehead, long nose, fair com- 
plexion, and beard on his face about one and a half 
inches long, also a mustache. Jesse was a large man, 
full-faced, with beard all over his face — a sandy beard, 
which I don't think was darker than Wood Kite's. 
Clarence was square built, delicate, and fair complex- 
ioned, with bad front teeth, so decayed that they would 
be quickly noticed. There was a striking family re- 
semblance between Frank James and Wood Hite. I 
saw Jim Cummings at my mother's house that summer 
in the last of June, 1S81. His sister lives two and a 
half miles from my mother's. I next saw him July i 

114 The Testimony. 

at the same place. He came there the first time with 
Jesse and Dick Liddil. He was by himself the last 
time. These parties were there several times that 
summer. I did not know of my own knowledge where 
the defendant was that summer. Cummings was rather 
tall and slim, with light hair — as tall as Frank James, 
and about thirty-six years old. Last saw him in July, 

Cross-examined : I heard that all these men were 
outlaws. Saw in the papers that they had robbed 
trains and killed men. They came and went armed. 
We fed Dick Liddil, though not related to him or 
Cummings. I knew that Cummings was charged with 
horse-stealing in Clay county. Never told of his 
presence there. Kept his presence there and that of 
the others a secret. In 1S76 I saw him in company 
with Jesse and their two wives. Saw him in 1875 and 
1874. When I first saw Jim Cummings in 18S1 he 
was on the porch of Mrs. Samuels, The other time he 
came to my window at night. I tended a crop that 
summer. Charley Ford first came there in July, 18S1. 

He was there also immediately before the Blue Cut 
robbery, when they left in a wagon, to which Charley 
Ford's black pony and another horse was hitched. I 
was there then. The other horse was Dick Liddil's. 
I don't remember whether that wagon left in July or 
August. Think Charley Ford's first visit was in the 
last of July. He was never there until after the Win- 
ston robbery. First saw Jim Cummings there the last 
of June. First told Mr. Johnson from this stand that 
Cummings was there in 18S1. I talked to Messrs. 

The Testimony. 115 

Johnson and Philips, of the defense, day before yester- 
day. Mr. Philips asked me about Jim Cummings. I 
had also told Mr. Garner, of the defense, about Cum- 
mings. I have heard Wood liite called Father Grimes 
because of his stoop shoulders and old way^. He had 
whiskers all over his face — dark whiskers, darker than 
Jesse's. Jim Cummings had a complexion perhaps as 
red as mine, with little eyes. I don't know anything 
about his education. He could carry on a conversation 
as well as some other men. * Never heard him quote 
any Shakespeare. There v/as left in the wagon Dick 
Liddil, Charley Ford, Clarence Hite, Wood Hite and 
Jesse James. There were not six men, and the sixth 
man was not Frank James, as far as I know. They 
were armed with revolvers. They had guns at the 
house, two Winchesters and a shotgun. Liddil had a 
shotgun and Jesse a Winchester. I don't know whether 
there was a suit of woman's clothes there. They got a 
woman's dress from my mother. 1 don't know what it 
was for. 

Mrs. Zerelda Sa?jiuels^ a gray-haired lady of 55, 
with a shortened right arm, and dressed in black, testi- 
fied: I have lived for forty years in Clay county. I 
am the mother of Jesse and Frank James. Frank was 
forty years old last January.. I have lived three miles 
from Kearney. I have other children — Mrs. Palmer, 
Mrs. Nicholson, Mrs. Hall and John T. Samuels. 
Jesse was killed two years ago next April (this with 
tears). I was home during the summer of iSSi. Jesse 
was at my house during iSSi. He came there either 
in May or June — in May, I think. Before that he had 

Ii6 The Testimony. 

not been home for some time. The first time he came 
Jim Cummings and Dick Liddil were with him — no, 
only Dick Liddil. I asked Jesse where "Buck," or 
Frank, was, and he said he had left him in Kentucky 
in bad health. I said, "vSon, you know he is dead," 
and I turned to Liddil and he said they had left him 
in Kentucky. They left my house after the Winston 
robbery. I don't know the time. During that summer 
the parties that met at my house were Charley Ford, 
Dick Liddil, Clarence and Wood Hite and Jesse 
James. My son Frank was not there that summer. 
1 have not seen Frank for seven years till I saw him at 
Independence. The last time before that I saw him 
was when Mr. Broome was sheriff of Clay county, and 
they came to my hou?e and shot at him. I saw Jim 
Cummings that summer. His relations live three or 
four mi.'cs from my house. One of his sisters married 
Bill Ford, uncle of the Ford boys. Liddil and the 
Hites were often at my house that summer previous to 
the Winston robbery. I did not know that summer 
where Frank James was. I thought he was dead. I 
am lifty-five years old. Was fifty years old when I lost 
my hand. 

Cross-examined : I remember the wagon leaving. 
There were in it Jesse James, Charley Ford, Wood 
llite, Clarence Hite and Dick Liddil. Jim Cum- 
mings was there in June. I didn't see him but that 
once. Johnny Samuels told me he was there one night 
at his window. Tlie party that left in the wagon took 
food and clothing, and a dress, apron and bonnet that 

The Testimony. 117 

I furnished, so they could pass off one of the gentlemen 
for a lady, so you couldn't catch them. 

Allen H. Palmer testified: I live in Wichita 
county, Texas. Am a cattle man. Have lived in Texas 
twenty years. First lived in Grayson county. The 
last years in Wichita county. I married Frank James' 
sister about thirteen years ago. I was not at home all 
the time of the summer of iSSi. I think I left home in 
May, between the first and tenth. I was down below 
Fort Worth working on a railroad, freighting. I had 
three children then. I returned about August i, or 
not far from the first. When I got home the first of 
August I found Frank James home with my family. I 
don't know what time he came there. I could not state 
how he was dressed at the time. I only stayed at home 
but a few days,, and I left him there. It was Septem- 
ber before I was home any more. When I got back he 
had gone. I next saw him yesterday. 

Cross-examined: Wichita Falls is on Wichita 
River, terminus of the Fort Worth and Denver. In 
iSSi there was no road nearer than Gainesville. In 
1S81 I lived in Clay county, eighteen miles northwest 
of Henrietta, on a ranch. My closest neighbor was -a 
widow lady named Bogar, about half a mile off. She 
visited my family occasionally. She had two daughters 
and a son, a young man grown, who was attending to 
a bunch of cattle and visiting at my house. 

Wichita Falls is ten miles from the ranch I had 
then. A family named Wicker lived two miles from 
me. The family consisted of three lx)ys and one mar- 
ried daughter, and her husband, Beckler. My next 

Ii8 The Testimony. 

neighbor was six or seven miles off, called Harness, W. 
T. and I. H. They are now at Henrietta. Frank 
James had a horse when I got to my place — a dark ba} 
horse. I didn't ask him when he came or where from. 
I don't know any Clarence or Wood Hite, orDickLid- 
dil. I didn't ask where he came from or where he 
was going. I hadn't seen Mrs. Samuels since 1879, 
when I was in Kansas City in jail and she came to see 
me. The last time I saw Jesse James was the year of 
the railroad strike (1877). In 1881, in the summer, I 
worked on the roads in Texas, hauling from Fort 
Worth. Hauled on the Missouri Pacific, which was 
building there from Fort Worth to Cleburne, and from 
Cleburne to Alvaredo. My name was not on any of 
the rolls, but we were paid in money every few days. 
Don't remember who I worked for, or with, or whom I 
loaded with. We were working between Cleburne 
and Alvaredo, on the Missouri Pacific, I think it was 
called. Frank White, at my house, stayed mostly up- 
stairs. He ate with the family. I thjnk he was unwell 
at the time. He said that his lungs were affected. 

Re-direct: He was talking of surrendering if it 
could be fixed up in Missouri. When I was in jail at 
Kansas City I had been arrested in Texas for the Glen- 
dale robbery. 

Re-cross: I think it was to Governor Crittenden 
that he talked of surrendering. 

The court at this point took a recess till 1 130?. m. 

The first witness called after recess was Mrs. 
Allen H. Palmer^ who testified: I live at Wichita 
Falls, Texas; I am the wife of the last witness; have 

The Testimony. 119 

been living in Texas about ten years continuously; have 
lived in Sherman, Clay and Wichita counties; lived in 
Wichita county since last fall; the defendant is my 
brother; he is older than I am; in the year i8Si I 
saw the defendant at my house in Clay county ; he 
came there in June, in the first part of the month; he 
spoke of coming from Tennessee, and of having lived 
there. My family consists of a husband and two chil- 
dren. He stayed there till the first of July. He was 
gone and came back again by the first of August, and 
was gone off and on till September. The first time hi; 
was gone three or four weeks. My husband came back 
the first of August. My brother was there at that time. 
I dont know where my brother went while he was 
gone. He remained in Texas a little over three 
months. I saw him off and on. He was there all of 
June. He went away the latter part of June or first of 
July, and was gone until the latter part of July, and 
from then off and on until some time in September he 
was at my house. I remember talking about him being 
anxious to have his friends negotiate his surrender to 
the Governor of Missouri. When he left Texas he 
started for California. I didn't then know where his 
wife was. Since then 1 never heard of him until the 
surrender. During this three months he was in Texas 
his health was not very good. While Frank was there 
my husband was home once. I can not say for how 
long — say four or five days. At that time my husband 
was working on the railroad near Fort Worth. He 
returned August i, and Frank was still there. I 
heard Frank speak of Jesse; that they got scared and 

I20 The Testimo7iy. 

left where they were living. When they left Tennessee 
Frank came to my house. 

Cross-examined : Frank got to my house the first 
of June. He told me he came from Tennessee. Of 
my own certain knowledge I don't know where he came 
from. He went away in June and stayed away all of 
July till the latter pai't. After he came back he stayed 
off and on till September. I don't know where he was 
in July. He finally left in September. I couldn't give 
the date, but it was along in the first of the month. 
I think the negotiations for the surrender were spoken 
of in the early portion of his visit. He spoke of friends, 
but didn't say friends in Missouri. He said he would 
like to have his friends negotiate his surrender, as he 
would like to be pardoned. I don't know anything 
about Jesse wanting to surrender. I never saw Dick 
Liddil till this week. I know nothing of Clarence or 
Wood Hite. Frank came to my house on horseback 
on a bay horse. He hobbled it and turned it out on 
the range. He didn't tell me where he got the horse. 
He stayed at my house in all of the three rooms at 
different times. If any one came he would go upstairs 
or out of the room. We lived in a remote part of the 
county where there are few visitors. We had a few 
visitors during the time. Mrs. Bogar was there visiting 
once. She didn't see Frank that I know of. When 
she was there Frank would sometimes be upstairs and 
sometimes down cellar. Mr. Harness, a stock man, 
now living at Henrietta, was also a visitor while Frank 
was there. He was originally from Cooper county, Mis- 
souri. We saw him coming and Frank wtnt into another 

The Testimony. 121 

room. In speaking of the surrender, he said he wanted 
to surrender; wanted a trial and to become a common, 
peaceable citizen. 

Q. Wanted a trial for what? For the Winston 
robbery. A. No, sir. 

Witness continued: I don't know of his mention- 
ing the name of anyone who had been negotiating with 
Governor Crittenden. 

Re-dircct : He told me that he left Tennessee be- 
cause Bill Ryan had been captured ; that he got fright- 
ened ; that his health was bad, and he came to my place 
to see if it would improve his health, and he wanted to 
to try and negotiate with the governor for surrender. 

Bud Harbison testified : I reside in Richmond, Ray 
county, Missouri. In coming from Richmond to the 
Harbison place, where Mrs. Bolton lived, the road 
passes right in front of my house without any fork or 
division, till the town is nearly reached. I was home 
and farming in 1S81. Have frequently seen men pass- 
ing my house on the road. Remember meeting a party 
of two or four at the creek on the road. Never saw de- 
fendant until I saw him in the court house yard. Could 
not say that I recognized him as one of the many par- 
ties passing my house in the summer of iSSi. Saw 
Dick Liddil or Mr. Anderson at Mrs. Bolton's in Feb- 
ruary, 1S83. I remember being at the house on Sun- 
day early in December from 10 to 11 A. M. I talked 
with Bob and Wilbur Ford and Mrs. Bolton. I believe 
I saw nothing and heard nothing unusual that day. 

Cross-examined : I couldn't identify any one of 
the four men whom I met at the creek on the road. I 

122 The Testimony. 

don't pretend to identify Dick Liddil as one o£ them. 
Did not recognize Wood Hite as one of them. 
I saw him after the exhumation of his body. He might 
have been stoop-shouldered. Had short whiskers and 
a little mustache, and would weigh 140 or 150 pounds. 
I don't know whether defendant is one of the men I saw 
at the creek or not. I was on the Wood Hite jury of in- 
quest. If Mrs. Bolton said anything about Frank 
James I don't remember. I remember telling you that 
if she said anything about Frank James being there that 
he was there in May, though I could not be positive as 
to whether she said anything about it or not. I believe 
she said that he might have been there twice. She 
spoke of him as going by the name of Hall. She was 
asked about the James boys, and she said that she knew 
them, but when or where she had seen them, or what 
year I don't remember. 

Samuel Venable testified: In 18S1 I was working 
as a carpenter for Mr. Weston till July. I know where 
Mrs. Hamilton's is, about a mile north of Gallatin. I 
remember the circumstance of the Winston robbery. I 
remember that Mrs. Hamilton's house was raised after 
I quit Mr. Weston, which was a few days before the 
Winston robbery. 

This testimony was evidently introduced to contra- 
dict Liddil where he speaks of a house in the locality 
indicated as having two stories, he thought, though he 
couldn't swear to it. 

At this point the defense announced that if they 
were given fifteen minutes' recess they could probably 

The Testhnony. 123 

get along with one more witness. The court ordered 
the recess asked for. 

At 3 o'clock the defendant, Frank James^ took 
the stand in his own behalf, and was duly sworn. The 
examination was as follows: By Mr. Philips: "Mr. 
James, you are the defendant in this case?" 


"Begin your statement of the history of this case, 
where the prosecution began, with the time of your de- 
parture from Missouri for Tennesee some years ago. 
.Just state when that was?" 

"That was in the winter of 1S76, if I remember it 

"State where you went and where you stayed." 

"Well, sir, it is quite a route to follow it all round. 
I ranged across southeast Missouri directly into Ten- 
nessee, crossing the Mississippi river, I think, perhaps 
about between the first and fifth of January, if I am not 

"State what time you arrived at Nashville." 

"I didn't arrive at Nashville until July, 1876. I 
think I went directly then from Nashville out into what 
is known as the White creek neighborhood. The first 
place I went to there was the widow Harriet Ledbet- 
ter's who lives over on White creek. In the meantime 
I rented a farm, which, however, I could not get 
possession of until January i, 1878. I remained at Mrs. 
Ledbetter's during that fall. I put in a crop of wheat 
and moved there and lived in the place known as the 
Jesse Walton place. I lived on this place one year^ 
that was up to 1878. Next year I rented a place from 

124 The Testimony. 

Felix Smith, on White creek also, but nearer to White's 
creek than the place I have just mentioned. 

"I i-emained there a year, and made a crop in the 
meantime — a general crop, as farmers raise — corn, 
oats and wheat. The next year I lived on what is 
known as the Jeff Hyde place, on Hyde's fen-y, about 
three and a half miles from Nashville. I remained 
there a year. During that year I didn't farm any. I 
was working for the Indiana Lumber company. That 
I think was in 1879." 

"What kind of work did you do for the Indiana 
Lumber company?" 

"I was working in the woods, logging, as they 
term it, and I worked off and on all that summer at that 
business, driving a four mule team, and after that time, 
I don't remember just what month, I think it was in 
1880, I moved into Nashville. During that time, as it 
was very hard work logging, I got several strains and 
my health became impaired, and I found I would have 
to go at some other business. Thinking I could not 
stand working ten hours a day for three years as I had, 
I concluded to move into Nashville and go into some 
other business. During that time this gentleman who 
has been spoken of before, Mr. Ryan, was captured. 
Well, of course, I was apprehensive, and not knowing 
what sort of a man he was and only having a short ac- 
quaintance with him, I concluded that perhaps for the 
sake of his liberty he would be willing to sacrifice my 
life. So I concluded to leave, and did so." 

"When and where was the first time you met your 
brother Jesse and the man Ryan.?" 

The Testimony. 125. 

"My first meeting with my brother Jesse was en- 
tirely accidental; 1 was farming, as I stated, on the 
Walton place, and I had gone into the store of B. S. 
Rhea & Son, and while I was sampling oats and talk- 
ing to one of the clerks, Jesse James walked out of the 
office, came up to me and says: 'Why, how do you 
do?' I spoke to him; didn't call any name of course. 
He was going by; he asked me where I was living, and 
I told him; he went out home with me, and told me 
he was living in Humphreys county, which is, I sup- 
pose, one hundred miles west of Nashville, if I am not 
mistaken. I am not positive about the distance. He 
had been buying grain for this firm of B. S. Rhea & 
Son. That is where I first met him. That, I think, 
was in the spring of 1878— perhaps in February or 
March. We generally sow oats there in February — in 
the latter part of February or first of March." 

"Where did you first meet Ryan in Tennessee.?" 
"The first time I ever met William Ryan, I think, 
perhaps, was in the fall or winter of 1879. I am not 
positive as to that date, but it occurs to me now, as 
well as I recollect it, that it was in 187 — no, it must 
have been in 1S79. I am pretty certain it was." 
"Where did you meet?" 

"I met him at my house. He had returned there 
with Jesse James, my brother, I suppose, though I can 
not state that of my own knowledge. However, he 
came there one Sabbath with Jesse James, but his wife 
and children were boarding in Nashville at that time. 
He had gone to Jesse James'. Previous to this Dick 
Liddil had arrived at my house." 

126 The TestimoTiy. 

"What time did he comedown there?" 
"What I mentioned about being apprehensive was 
the second time. The first time I ever met Dick Lid- 
dil in Tennessee was, I think, m 1879. I am not 
positive what month. He and Jesse James came in 
together. No one was with them when they arrived at 
my house. Liddil was there off and on until that fall. 
He was then making trips to and fro, but where I have 
no idea. I never saw Ryan, Jesse James and Liddil 
together any great deal in Nashville. When they were 
out of my sight my impression is they were together, 
but of course when they were out of my sight I could 
not state what became of them. When I left Nashville, 
in consequence of Ryan's arrest, my first purpose was 
to protect my life so as to be able to support my family, 
and secondly to get shut of those parties who were 
around me. I could not prevent it. Of course I had 
no control of things, and that was the reason I left there 
and went to Logan county, Kentucky, to George B. 
Kite's, who had married a sister of my father's for his 
first wife. I could not state when his first wife died. 
I do not remember the date we arrived there, nor just 
how long we stayed. I think, however, we arrived in 
the latter part of March, or the first of April, as well as 
I recollect the circumstance now. As to the officers 
coming there, if my memory serves me right ^t was on 
a Sunday that it was reported they were at Adairsville, 
one and a half or two miles from the Hite's place, de- 
tectives looking for us, and they had followed us from 

The Testivwny. 127 

*'That Sunday morning three men were noticed 
coming toward the house. Our lane ran for quite a 
distance south of the house past the farm, and there was 
a little lane came up directly to the house. Some one 
saw them coming from a distance and said: 'Yonder 
come three men.' ISIy brother, being a somewhat ex- 
citable man, said: 'No doubt those are the men that 
were in Adairsville.' The detectives, as they sup- 
posed. I said, 'I reckoned not; that I could not see 
what anybody could be following us for.' 'Oh, yes,' 
Dick says, 'you know Jessie and I borrowed a couple 
of horses, and I expect these men are from back down 
in Nashville.' I said, 'I guess they won't come here.' 
We went down stairs, and I said, 'Don't shoot any- 
body; for heaven's sake, don't kill anybody!' They 
came down and v^ent I don't know where. I went into 
the parlor and looked out of the window to see if they 
came up the lane directly in front^ of the house. I kept 
looking, but they didn't come, but went off. I thought 
perhaps it was some one going to church — neighbors, 
perhaps — so I went back up-stairs. However, the men 
went on by, and Wood Hite followed them on a mule, 
and reported that they had gone in a roundabout way to 
Adairsville, and they were the same men that we sus- 
pected of being detectives. I could not state positively 
whether I remained at Mrs. Hite's" ten days or two 
weeks, but it was in the neighborhood of that time. 

"The Hite family was composed of George B. 
Hite, Mrs. Sarah Hite, her daughter Maud, old Mr. 
Norris and his wife. That is all who were there then. 
Of course, he had other children who were not there at 

128 The Testimony. 

that time. Wood Kite's name was Woodson Hite. I 
would suppose him to be between thirty-three and 
thirty-five years of age. I think I was perhaps two 
years older than he. He was five feet nine and one- 
half or ten inches high. Can not say whether his eyes 
were black or gray. His hair was light and his whisk- 
ers darker, rather dark sandy. He was a little stoop- 
shouldered, had a large, prominent nose and high fore- 
head, and would weigh one hundred and fifty pounds 
whereas I only weigh one hundred and forty. There 
was very little difference in our height. There was a 
striking family resemblance between us. My attention 
was first called to it the first time Dick Liddil and 
Jesse James came to our house. The next morning 
after breakfast Jesse looked at me and says, 'Why, Dick,' 
he says, 'he looks like old Father Grimes.' I said : 
'Who is old Father Grimes?' He sa3's: 'He is your 
cousin. Wood Hite,' and Dick laughed and said; 'Yes; 
he is.' Clarence Hite was slender. You would call 
him a stripling, very loose in his movements, light com- 
plexioned, and, I believe, light-haired, with no whiskers 
at all. When I saw him in Kentucky he looked just 
like a green boy. I suppose he w'ould be five feet 
eight or nine inches high. From the Hite's we went to 
Nelson county, Kentucky, the county which has Bards- 
town for its county seat. We first arrived at Richard 
Hoskin's, an old gentleman who lived in the 'knobs,' 
for it is a very broken country. There I separated from 
Jesse James and Dick Liddil, and can not tell where 
they went. I know a man in Nelson county named 
Robert Hall. 

(His signature.) 
Son of the noted bandit. From photo taken 189S, at the age 

of twenty- two 

The T'cstitnony. 129 

"I was not at his place in company with Dick Lid- 
dil and Jesse James. There was no agreement en- 
tered into between Jesse James, Dick Liddil and my- 
self, or myself with any other parties, to go to Missouri 
for the purpose of robbing the express at the Kansas 
City ferry; but, on the other hand, I tried to persuade 
them not to come to Missouri. Jesse and Dick had 
been talking of coming to Missouri ever since we left 
Nashville. Liddil had left his wife here and seemed 
very anxious to get back. I am not certain who was his 
reputed wife, but I believe it was Miss Mattie Collins. 
That is what I heard. I told Jesse and Dick not to come 
to Missouri, because it would endanger the life of our 
mother. I said: 'You know already what has been 
done there. You know there is no protection for my 
mother and family in the state of Missouri, let alone for 
you, and I would never go there.' My advice to Dick 
Liddil was to go to work somewhere and then he would 
have much more money at the end of the year than if he 
put in his time galloping around the country. But Jesse 
said they would go anyway. So I separated from them 
in Nelson county, Kentucky. As a matter of fact I 
was not at Hall's in connection with Liddil and Jesse 
James. I remained there perhaps till the tenth or 
fifteenth of May, though I don't just remember the date. 
I then went to Louisville. Robert Hall took me in a 

"From there I went to Texas. On the trip from 
Nashville to Hite's I rode a horse I got from Dick Lid- 
dil in 1S79, as well as I can recollect. That is the 

130 The Testi7nony. 

horse he speaks of having sold to me, and its descrip- 
tion corresponds with that of the horse referred to by the 
witness Duval. I gave that horse to Mr. Hall for his 
services in driving me in a buggy to Louisville. Fiom 
Louisville I went to Texas by rail, going to Memphis 
over the L, & N. From there I went to Little Rock, 
where I think I changed cars and went to Texarkana, 
on the Iron Mountain. Thence I went to Dallas by a 
road whose name I don't remember. * It occurs to me 
like the International. From Dallas I went up into 
northern Texas. Mrs. Palmer is my sister. I got to 
her house about the first of June, iSSi. I remained 
there five or six weeks. I don't remember exactly 
where I learned of the death of President Garfield. I 
think I heard of it while I was there, and I left my sis- 
ter's between that time and the tenth of July. The 
nearest postoffice to my sister's place was Henrietta, 
and that was eighteen miles away. After leaving my 
sister's I went into the Indian Nation, and I think I was 
gone ten or fifteen days. I went on horseback. My 
sister's place is about thirty miles from the line of the 
Indian Nation, but the way I went I reckon it was 
about one hundred and twenty miles. I know I got 
down in that country about the time I heard of the 
Winston robbery, so I talked round and went to Deni- 

"I can not state whether I read of the Winston 
robbery in a paper or whether somebody told me. 
After that I went back to my sister's in Clay county, 
and remained there through August and a part of Sep- 
tember. I left my sister's I am satisfied between the 

The Testimony. 131 

tenth and fifteenth of September, iSSi. I know as I 
returned on that trip I heard of the Bkie Cut robbery. 
When I left Tennessee I gave my wife directions to go 
to Gen. Joe Shelby's, in the state of Missouri, and see 
if there could be any arrangements made with the gov- 
ernor for my surrender. If I could have a fair and im- 
partial trial accorded me I felt perfectly satisfied I could 
be cleared beyond a doubt. I told her if anything 
could be done in this behalf to communicate with me in 
northern Texas, otherwise to go to her brother, Samuel 
Ralston, in California. I think he resided in Sonora, 
Tuolumna county. She went there. I didn't do much 
in Texas, as I felt the need of rest, for the three and a 
half years of hard work in Tennessee had told on my 
health. I would sit and read or lounge about the house. 
I was not engaged in anything while I was there. 
When I left my sister's in September I returned to the 
neighborhood of Denison and the Chickasaw Nation, and 
remained there perhaps two or three weeks. Then I 
returned to Kentucky, going by way of the M., K. & 
T. to St. Louis, and the K. & O. to St. Louis and on 
to Samuel's depot. I received no answers in 1881 to 
my petition for leave to surrender. 

"Otherwise my wife would not have gone to Cali- 
fornia. On my return to Kentucky my wife met me in 
Nelson county. She arrived there some time in the 
latter part of October, 1881, with one child, now five 
years old. From Samuel's depot we went across to 
Georgetown, in Scott county, Kentucky. There we 
took the Cincinnati Southern train to Chattanooga , and 
stopped at the Stanton house, where I -registered as J. 

132 The Testi7noiiy. 

Ed. Warren and wife. From there we went over the 
E. T. V. & G. railway to Bristol. Changed cars there 
for the Norfolk and Northwestern, which carried us to 
Lynchburg. I remained there a couple of weeks, de- 
tained by the miscarriage of a trunk which I had ex- 
pressed from Louisville to Georgetown when I had 
gone across the country in a buggy. At Lynchburg 
we stopped at the Arlington on Seventh and Clark 
streets, if I am not mistaken. My intention was to go 
into North Carolina somewhere, and remain there. I 
went from Lynchburg over the Virginia Midland to 
Danville, and then over the Richmond and Danville to 
Jonesboro, North Carolina, where I stopped at the 
McAdoo house, registering as before. Then there was 
a little town called Salem, thirty or forty miles from 
Jonesboro, at the foot of the mountains. That seemed 
to be a secluded place, and I thought I would go into 
business there, as I had experience in mill work, and 
there were any number of mills there, but the place 
seemed full of diphtheria. There was a great deal of 
sickness there. They had just been putting in water- 
pipes, which a great many people supposed to be the 
cause of sickness. So I went back to Jonesboro, the place, 
by the way, where, I think. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston sur- 
rendered, and I got my family and went from there to 
Raleigh, North Carolina. As soon as I got into the 
town I saw it was dead. There wasn't a manufacturing- 
establishment in it to amount to anything, although it 
had fifteen or sixteen thousand inhabitants. I saw that 
was no place to stop and I went to Norfolk, stopping 
at the Purcell house and registering as Wair^n. \ 

The Testimony. 133 

didn't like that place so my wife says, 'Suppose we take 
a trip up the James river.' 

" I says, 'very well, all right.' We went up the 
James River with Captain Gifford, on the Ariel, and, 
arriving at Richmond, stopped at the Ford House. 
There I found the town all yellow-flagged for the 
small-pox, which scared me, as I didn't want to lose my 
'wife and child. So we went to Lynchburg, which was 
a healthy place, and rented a house there. I was 
quite feeble all winter and very sick. I stayed there 
until about the tenth of May. While at Lynchburg, I 
noticed the assassination of Jesse James. I was taking 
the New York Daily Herald at the time. I had been 
out walking, and when I got back to the house I saw 
my wife was excited, and she came rushing to me with 
the paper and says 'Jesse James is killed.' I says, 
'My God, where and how and who killed him?' That 
was the third of April. After that Ipaid close attention 
to my papers. I remember reading in the New York 
Herald how Governor Crittenden, when asked what 
hope there was for Frank James, he replied, 'wherein 
as none of his friends have ever asked anything, I will 
not state anything about it.' That gave me hope. I 
said to my wife, 'possibly if you return to Missouri and 
show a willingness on my part to let the past be buried, 
and that I am willing to surrender myself up, and be 
tried and meet every charge they can bring against me, 
I may have a fair and impartial trial.' She went. I 
left Lynchburg, May 10, 18S2, returning as I went to 
Nelson county, Kentucky. I remained there until I 
effected my surrender, and came to Missouri, October 

134 Tfi^^ Testimony. 

5, 1SS2. I shipped no arms from Samuel's Station to 
Missouri. As to what Jesse James and Dick Liddil 
did I am not able to speak. I was not in Missouri 
from 1S76 to the time I passed through going from 
Texas to Kentucky. 

On cross-examination witness said: "I went to 
Tennessee in a wagon. Mr. Burns was with us," 


"Us, who do you mean by us?" 

"I mean Jesse James and the others.'* 

"Where did you separate?" 

"In southeast Missouri." 

"And not in northern Tennessee?" 


Witness continued: "There were two wagons. 
One was mine and one was Jesse's. I do not know 
where Tyler Burns is. He lived when he went south 
with us in Hell's Corner, Jackson county. We got to 
Tennessee with a little money in July, 1S76. When I 
left Tennessee I had about $300, a $200 bill and 

"Was that all the money you could command?" 

Colonel Philips objected, as this matter was not 
referred to in the examination in chief. 


The court not being positive about this matter, be- 
lieving a defendant as a witness was subject to different 
rules of evidence from ordinary witnesses, sent out for 

The Testimony. 135 

the authorities. The court decided £he question might 
be put, and the witness answered : 

"I had other means; my wife had some money. 
She had between $600 and $700, which came from the 
sale of six mules, a wagon and general farming uten- 
sils. When I left Nashville, I left from the town, not 
from the farm." 

"I remember an interview with Frank O'Neill, 
and when a part of the interview was read he could not 
remember having said it. The portion read made him 
say he had lived continuously on a farm while in Ten- 

"I did not tell Mr. O'Neill that I had left the Smith 
place to become a wanderer again." 

"I can't state how long ago I became acquainted 
with Dick Liddil. I had seen him before seeing him at 
Nashville. I had seen him at Hudspeth." 

"I think when he came to Nashville it was in 
July, 1879. 


"Dick Liddil never came to Nashville with Jim 
Cummings. I did not regard the interval when I said 
to Mr. O'Neill that Jim Cummings and Dick Liddil 
came to Tennessee in the fall of iSSo. Under my 
oath, I say Dick Liddil came there in. July, 1S79, and 
Cummings came in the fall. I can't remember when 
he left, exact'y." 

The court here put a stop to further examination 
about Cumrnings, as his name had not been brought out 
on the examination in chief. 

136 The Testii}iony. 

"Mr. James, you say it was your purpose to get 
rid of these men ; why did you go to Kentucky with 


"I went because I wanted to go there to see friends 
and to help in getting rid of these people." 


"After getting into Kentucky I kept with them 
and went to Nelson county for the purpose then of 
keeping Jesse from going back to Missouri, fully reali- 
zing the result would be what it has been, and to pre- 
vent another hand grenade raid on my mother's family 
and the children of the whole family. I was at Hall's, 
but made no agreement. 

"Did you not say to Mr. O'Neill that you were in 
Missouri in October, 1S81?" 

"I did. He asked me if I had been in Missouri. 
My answer meant that I was in Missouri passing 

"I did not leave Ray county in October of iSSi 
with Clarence Hite and separate from him at Inde- 

The State here took up the trip from Nelson county 
to Georgetown an^l thence to Chattanooga and so on, 
and it was retold without a single break. 

"When at Hite's I had pistols. I had no gun. I 
owned one. My wife had it. I told Mr. O'Neill that 

The Testimony. 137 

when I went armed, I carried two pistols and a Win- 
chester, and I did so. When in Nelson county I had 
two pistols." 

"Were you at peace in Nelson county.?" 
*'I decline to answer that question." 
The court — "You can do as you please." 
Continuing the cross-examination. Mr. Wallace 
was particular as to the places and dates on which the 
defendant stopped during his tour out of Kentucky and 
to Lynchburg. 

The witness was surprisingly accurate, and missed 
nothing from the story first told. While in Lynch- 
burg witness rented a house from Mr. Winfrey, near 
the water works. He gave the names of several resi- 
dents there, but did not know the name of the butcher 
from whom he bought his meat. 

Returning from his trip, from Kentucky to Texas, 
Mr. Wallace got him to Denison, Texas, where he 
stopped with a friend, whose name he refused to disclose, 
saying he was engaged in negotiating for his surrender, 
and he would not give a man away who had protected 
him when every other man's hand was lifted against 
him. At Denison he bought a horse on the street, and 
from whom he did not ask or know, and started for his 
sister's, Mrs. Palmer's, twelve miles to the west. He was 
closely questioned regarding this trip and answered: 
"The first day I traveled forty miles and stopped at a 
ranch, but don't know who owned the ranch and can't 
describe it. The next day rode to within three or four 
miles of Montague, on the Gainesville and Henrietta 
road. Don't know whether south or east or west of Mon- 

138 The Testtjnony. 

tague ; stopped at a house one story high and near a 
creek. I remember it was near a creek because it had 
rained that day, and I rode my horse in to wash off 
the mud. The next evening I got to my sister's, and 
asked, six miles from where she lived, just where she re- 
sided. I inquired at Harness Bros. I heard that my 
sister gave that name in her testimony. Witness was 
then questioned as to when he left there, and said it 
was the first of July or thereabouts, and went to the 
Indian nation, riding 120 miles. He could not remem- 
ber the name of any one with whom he stopped on the 
journey, and could not describe a place at which he 
stayed. He declared he went to Colbert station, 
Indian Territory, to meet his mysterious friends, so as 
to get a letter fi^om his wife regarding her negotiations 
for his surrender. Getting home, and hearing of the 
Winston robbery about this time, he returned to his 

Mr. Wallace pressed him closely about his Texas 
visit and tours, and could extract from him only three, 
places he had stopped at, though three months in the 
State, and he could give the name of but one man he 
met — a cowboy named Hoynes, with whom he camped 
one night near his sister's. 

Mr. Wallace asked if his memory was better when 
traveling through Virginia, that he could remember 
dates, hotels and places, than when in Texas. He said 
it was because he had his wife with him, and when in 
Texas he was alone and anxious. 

When questioned about the time he was at Calvert 
station, witness, as a matter of fact, became confused 

The Testimony. 139 

and though explaining that Calvert was in the Indian 
Nation, could not tell with whom he stopped, with the 
exception of this mj'sterious friend, whom he had pre- 
viously said lived 4n Denison. On re-examination, 
witness was placed right to a certain extent as to his for- 
getfulness of places in Texas by saying that the country 
was scarcely settled, and had been given over to cattle 
grazing, and he had not taken much account of his 
surroundings. The defense rested its testimony with 
the introduction of Frank, and the court adjourned 
until to-morrow. 



The trial commenced by calling back to the stand 
Mr. D. Brosms, the lawyer, who was on the robbed 
train and who had declared the defendant to be not 
one of the men, the purpose of recalling him being to 
question him as to whether he had not at stated times 
and places told divers persons that the whole affair on 
the train occurred so quickly that he could not describe 
any of the men and didn't even know what they looked 
like. His answer to all these questions were in sub- 
stance that he had always declared he couldn't give a 
description of men as he could not now, and that be- 
ing chaffed and joked with on all hands after the rob- 
bery he might have stated that the robbers were 
fifteen feet high and that they had revolvers four feet 

140 The Testimony. 

Boyd Dudley^ an attorney, testified that Brosius 
told him just after the robbery that he saw but one man, 
who was fifteen feet high, and that he thought that 
there were others. 

On cross-examination, witness stated his office 
was with Circuit Attorney Hamilton, who was prose- 
cuting the case. 

Wm. M. BostapJz testified that on the morning 
after the robbery Brosius told him that he could not de- 
scribe either of the robbers as to their complexion or 
dress, but believed they had slouched hats pulled down 
over their faces. 

A. M. Irving testified that Mr. Brosius told him 
the story about a robber fifteen feet high. 

Eli Dennis testified that Brosius told him the 
robbery was so quick and there was so much confusion 
that he could not describe the robbers or tell anything 
about them. 

W. D. Gillihan testified to about the same effect. 
After Frank James was brought to Gallatin, Brosius 
told witness that he could not say whether the prisoner 
was one of the robbers or not. 

George Tuggle, R. L. Tomlin and T. B. Tates^ 
all testified to Brosius' story about robbers fifteen feet 
high and revolvers four feet long, thus affording a pow- 
erful illustration of dangers of imagery in describing 
an occurrence, 

Mrs. Sarah E. Hite was recalled. She testified: 
I knew Wood Hite since 1878, and was in the same 
house with him about four years. He was very untidy 
in his toilet, and not at all literary in his tastes. 

The Testimony. 141 

Frank was always neat, and he and Wood did not re- 
semble each other. 

On cross-examination, the witness described Wood 
Hite as she did on a previous occasion, saying that his 
forehead was not high, nor were his ears large. In 
other respects her description agreed with that of 
Frank James. Witness stated that in the spring 1881, 
Jim Cummings and Frank James were not on friendly 
terms. Jesse came to the house one morning to kill 
Jim Cummings. He seemed rnuch excited, and said 
he was going to kill Jim Cummings. Jim was at the 
Hite place alone in February, 18S1, and was not there 
since. I don't know whether they became friendly or 
not after that. 

Silas Norris testified that he knew Wood Hite 
four or five years, and that he did not to any general 
extent resemble Frank James, being somewhat smaller. 
He would take Frank to be six feet high. He never 
noticed any striking resemblance between the two men, 
though he never saw Frank James but once before 
coming here. 

Major y. H. J/cGee testified : I was in the smok- 
ing-car on the train that was robbed at Winston. I 
sat close by the conductor when he was shot. There 
were three strange men in the car when the conductor 
was killed. 

A long argument as to the admissibility of such 
evidence as this in rebuttal, it being clearly evidence 
pertaining to the case, resulted in two or three contrary 
decisions from the court, which at last determined to 
admit the evidence. 

142 The Instructions. 

Witness resumed : Two of three men were engaged 
in shooting, and one was engaged in cutting the bell- 
rope. I saw two of them come in at the front door of 
the car, but did not see where the third came from. 

Cross-exafnined: Heard pistols and heard the ex- 
clamation, "down! down! down!" I saw one man 
standing near me at the middle of the car with pistols, and 
one near the conductor, both shooting. The conductor 
pulled the bell-rope, and then one of the men cut it. 
I saw all three of the men and .sized them up, but I 
couldn't tell whether the defendant was one of them or 
not. I saw no pistol in the hand of the man who cut 
the rope, nor did I see him doing anything else after 
shooting Westfall. The man who shot him walked 
with the other two to the front end, and going out on 
the platform shut the door and I saw no more of them. 


Thereupon the court ordered the submission of the 
instructions, and Mr. Hamilton, of counsel for the state, 
read the instructions for the state, as follows: 


State of Missouri against Frank James. 

The court instructs the jury on behalf of the state 
as follows: 

First — If the jury believe from the evidence that 
defendant Frank James, in the month of July, 1881, at 
the county of Daviess, in the state of Missouri, willfully/ 

The Instructions. 143 

deliberately, premeditatedly, and of his malice afore- 
thought shot and killed one Frank McMillan; or if the 
jury believe that any other person then and there will- 
fully, deliberately, premeditatedly, or of his malice 
aforethought, shot and killed said Frank McMillan, 
and that defendant Frank James was present, and then 
and there willfully, premeditatedly and deliberately and 
of his malice aforethought aided, abetted or counseled 
such other person in so shooting and killing the said 
Frank McMillan, then the jury ought to find the defend- 
ant guilty of murder in the first degree. 

Second — The term willfully, as used in these 
instructions, means intentionally, that is, not acciden- 
tally. Deliberately means done in a cool state of the 
blood, not in a sudden passion, engendered by a lawful 
or some just cause of provocation, and the court instructs 
you that in this case there is no evidence tending to 
show passion or provocation. Premeditately means 
thought of beforehand any length of time however short. 
Malice does not mean spite or ill will as understood in 
ordinary language, but it is used here to denote a con- 
dition of mind evidenced by the intentional doing of a 
wrongful act, liable to endanger human life; it signifies 
such a state of mind or disposition as shows a heart 
regardless of social duty and fatally bent on mischief. 
Malice aforethought means malice with premeditation 
as before defined. 

Third — If the jury believe from the evidence that 
the defendant, Frank James, with Jesse James, Wood 
Hite and Clarence Hite, or with any of them, and oth- 
ers at the county of Daviess, in the state of Missouri, 

144 ^^^^ Instructions. 

in the month of July, 1881, made an assault upon one 
Charles Murray, and any money of any value then in 
the custody or under the care of said Murray by force 
and violence to the person of said Charles Murray, or 
by putting said Charles Murray in fear of some imme- 
diate injury to his person, did rob, steal, take and carry 
away ; and if the jury also believe from the evidence 
that the defendant, Frank James, in the perpetration of 
such robbery with malice aforethought as before defined, 
willfully shot and killed Frank McMillan, then the jury 
ought to find the defendant guilty of murder in the first 

Fourth — If you find from the evidence that the 
defendant, Frank James, at the county of Daviess, in 
the state of Missouri, in the month of July, i8Sr, shot 
and killed Frank McMillan, and that such act was done 
neither with the specific intent on the part of the defend- 
ant to kill any particular person, nor in the perpetration 
of a robbery, yet if you further find that defendant was 
then and there recklessly, intentionally and with malice, 
firing with a deadly weapon, to wit, a pistol, into or 
through certain cars of a railway train containing a num- 
ber of passengers and those in charge thereof, and while 
thus firing, said McMillan being on said train, was shot 
and killed by defendant, then you will find defendant 
guilty of murder in the second degree ; or should you 
find from the evidence that at said time and place said 
McMillan was shot and killed by any person or pei'sons 
whomsoever, and that such act was done neither with 
the specific intent on the part of such person or persons 
to kill any particular person, nor in the perpetration of 

The Instructions. 145 

a robbery. Yet, if you further find that such person or 
persons were then and there recklessly, intentionally 
and with malice, firing with a deadly weapon or weap- 
ons, to wit, a pistol or pistols, into or through certain 
cars containing a number of passengers and those in 
charge thei'eof, and that while thus firing said Frank 
McMillan, being on said train, was shot and killed by 
such other or others, and that defendant was present, 
then and there recklessly, intentionally and with malice, 
aiding, abetting, assisting and counseling such other or 
others to fire into or through said cars, then you will 
find defendant guilty of murder in the second degree. 

Fifth — The jury are instructed that by the statutes 
of this state the defendant is a competent witness in his 
own behalf, but the fact that he is a witness testifying 
in his own behalf, may be considered by the jury in 
delivering the credibility of his testimony. 

Sixth — The jury are further instructed that to the 
jury exclusively belongs the duty of weighing the evi- 
dence and determining the credibility of the witnesses ; 
with that the court has absolutely nothing to do. The 
degree of credit due to a witness should be determined 
by his character and conduct; by his manner upon the 
stand; his relations to the controversy and to the parties, 
his hopes and his fears ; his bias or impartiality ; the 
reasonableness or otherwise of the statements he makes, 
the strength or weakness of his recollections reviewed 
in the light of all the other testimony, facts and circum- 
stances in the case. 


146 The Instrjictions. 

Seventh — In considering what the defendant has 
said after the fatal shooting, and previous to the time of 
his testifying in this case, and with reference to any 
material matter in issue, the jury must consider it all 
together. The defendant is entitled to the benefit of 
what he said for himself, if true, as the state is to any- 
thing he said against himself in any conversation proved 
by the state. What he said against himself in any con- 
versation the law presumes to be true because against 
himself, but what he said for himself the jury are not 
bound to believe because said in a conversation proved 
by the state ; they may believe or disbelieve it as it is 
shown to be true or false by all the evidence in the 

Eighth — The jury are instructed that the testimony 
of an accomplice in the crime for which the defendant 
is charged is inadmissible in evidence, and the degree 
of credit to be given to the testimony of such accom- 
plice is a matter exclusively for the jury to determine. 
The jury may convict on the testimony of an accom- 
plice without any corroboration of his statements, but 
the testimony of such accomplice as to matters material 
to the issue, if not corroborated by facts and circum- 
stances in proof should be received by the jury with 
great caution. 

Ninth — If the jury entertain a reasonable doubt as 
to the defendant's guilt, they should find him not guilty, 
but to authorize an acquittal on the ground of doubt 
alone ; such doubt must be real and substantial, and 
not that there is a mere possibility that the defendant 
may be innocent. 

The Instructions. 147 

Tenth — If the jury find the defendant guilty of 
murder in the first degree, they will simply so state in 
their verdict, and leave the punishment to be fixed by 
the court. 

If they find the defendant guilty of murder in the 
second degree, they will so state in their verdict, and 
will also assess punishment at imprisonment in the 
penitentiary, for such term not less than ten years, as 
the jury may believe proper under the evidence. 


Colonel Philips excepted to the court's announce- 
ment of the order of speaking, on the ground that it 
was inequitable and unjust. Then he proceeded to 
read to the jury the instructions for the defense, as fol- 
The State of Missouri against Frank James : 

First — The defendant is on trial for the killing of 
one James McMillan, and for no other offense. To 
authorize the jury to find him guilty under the first 
count of the indictment, the jury must find from the 
evidence that defendant, Frank James, shot and killed 
the said McMillan; and if the jury entertain a reason- 
able doubt of the defendant's doing the specific act of 
said killing, they must acquit him under the first count 
of the indictment. 

oecond — The court instructs the jury that under 
the second count of the indictment the defendant is 
charged with making an assault in connection with 
others upon one Charles Murray, and robbing him of 
certain money, the property of said Murray, and that 

14S The Instructions. 

in perpetration thereof they shot and killed one Frank 
McMillan. Before the jury can find the defendant 
guilty under this count they must find and" be satisfied 
beyond a reasonable doubt from the evidence that the 
defendant made such felonious assault on said Murray 
and stole from him money as charged in the indict- 
ment, and also that in the perpetration of said felony 
he shot and killed McMillan, or that the defendant, 
acting in connection with one or more of the parties 
named in the indictment was present aiding, counsel- 
ing and abetting them in committing said assault and 
robbery ; and that some one or more of said other per- 
sons so named in the indictment did shoot and kill said 
McMillan, and that said killing was so done in the 
prosecution of said felony. 

Third — It is not sufficient to authorize you to find 
the defendant guilty under the second count of the 
indictment, that you should believe that the defendant 
was present at the time and place of the alleged homi- 
cide and felony, and that he had gone there with oth- 
ers for the purpose of robbing the said Murray, or that 
one Frank McMillan was then and there killed by 
some one of the party engaged in the robbery of said 
Murray. But you must be satisfied beyond a reason- 
able doubt either that the defendant himself shot and 
killed said McMillan or that some one of the party with 
whom he was acting, as alleged in the indictment, and 
in the prosecution of the purpose for which the party 
was assembled, shot and killed said McMillan. If, 
therefore, the jury should believe from the evidence 
that some one of said party so engaged in the alleged 

The Instructions. 149 

attack and robbery, aside from and independent of the 
common design and not in the prosecution of the pur- 
pose for which the party assembled, or after robbery 
of the said Murray was committed, shot and killed said 
McMillan of his own motive, without the concurrence 
of defendant, then the defendant can not be convicted 
under the second count of the indictment, and the jury 
in such case must return a verdict of not guilty as to 
the second count. 

Fourth — The jury are the sole judges of the weight 
of the evidence and of the credibility of the witnesses 
who have testified therein ; and if the jury believe that 
any witness has willfully sworn falsely to any material 
fact they are at liberty to discard and disregard the testi- 
mony of such witness. And in determining the cred- 
ibility of any witness the jury may take into consideration 
his or her moral character as disclosed by the evidence 
developed on the trial; and if, on account of his or her 
moral turpitude or criminal acts, if any, the jury regard 
him or her as untrustworthy of belief and credit, they 
are at liberty to disregard and reject the whole of such 
testimony, although a part of his other testimony may 
be corroborated by other evidence in the case. 

Fifth — Whilst the law admits as a competent wit- 
ness for the state one who confesses that he was en- 
gaged in the crime charged and an accomplice therein, 
yet the jury should receive his statements with great 
caution and circumspection, unless corroborated by 
other testimony, and corroborative testimony should be, 
as to material fiicts, tending to show defendant's pres- 
ence at and participation in the homicide. 

150 The Instructions. 

Sixth — This instruction embodies the usual state- 
ment that the burden of proof is on the state, and defend- 
ant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a 
reasonable doubt. 

Seventh — In order to justify the inference of legal 
guilt from circumstantial evidence alone, the existence 
of the inculpating facts must be absolutely incompati- 
ble with the innocence of the accused and incapable of 
explanation upon any other reasonable hypothesis than 
that of his guilt. 

Col. Shanklin here interposed a plea for the de- 
fense, urging the court to grant the defense twelve 
hours in which to deliver themselves of their eloquence, 
and claimed .while the state had ample time in ten 
hours, the defense had more lawyers. This generos- 
ity on the part of Col. Shanklin was so appreciated by 
the court that the extension of time was allowed the 

The arguments of counsel were begun on the 
morning of September 3 and closed at noon on Sep- 
tember 6. Nine speeches were made in all; the 
following gentlemen for the prosecution : W. P. Ham- 
ilton, J. F. Hicklin, J. H. Shanklin and Wm. H Wal- 
lace. Arguments were made in behalf of defendant 
by John M. Glover, Col. C. F. Garner Jas. H. Slover, 
Judge John F. Philips and Charles P. Johnson.* 

*It being impossible to here print all of the speeches made in the case, 
the publisher has selected one from each side of the case, which is here given 
in full. 

Addresses to The Jury. 151 





May it please the court, and you gentlemen of the 
jury : 

In view of the malign criticism of certain news- 
papers in the state as to the propriety of my appearing 
as of counsel in this case, it is not improper, in justice 
to truth and my position as a member of the Supreme 
Court Commission, that 1 should detain you for a few 
moments in explanation. 

There is nothing in the constitution of this state to 
prevent me from appearing here as counsel. There is 
nothing in the act creating the commission to render it 
unlawful or improper. 

Long before the commission was created, or I had 
any expectation of connection with it, and long before 
the prisoner at the bar had surrendered to the governor 
of the state, he applied to me, through a mutual friend, 
to know whether, if he should come in and throw him- 
self upon "the country," I would undertake his defense 
and aid in according to him the constitutional privilege 
of a fair and impartial trial before the courts. He was 
distinct and candid in the statement that he had not a 
dollar in the world to offer me. Upon me he had no 
claims, other than those which spring from the bonds 
of human sympathy and that charity — the "one touch 
of which makes all the world kin." 

153 Addresses to The yury. 

In that fierce, internecine strife, which swept the 
land like a tornado, dividing families, arraying father 
against son and brother against brother, in deadliest 
contention, Frank James and I stood in mortal antago- 
nism. It was my fortune to see his flag go down in 
desperate defeat, while mine went up in permanent 
triumph. I was victor, he was the vanquished. 

Whatever others may say or think, the idea I had 
and have of the episode of "the James Brothers" was 
that it came as the bitter fruit of that dire strife. And 
when, from the summit of peace on which we stand 
to-day, we look back over the trampled fields yet 
marked with the red hot ploughshare of war, and recall 
the history of civil wars, reciting how slowly nations 
recover from the blight — how long it takes the ghastly 
wounds in the body politic to heal, I affirm surprise at 
the rapidity of our recovery. And when I recall all 
the local bitterness of that day, with its crimination and 
recrimination, its reprisals and outrages, peculiar to 
neither side in Missouri, with the bad blood it engen- 
dered, and to-day behold the magnificent picture of a 
civilized state, reposing in peace, exulting in plenty, 
and marching on to higher achievements in the arts of 
peace and social order, my heart swells with pride and 
gratitude to the God of our deliverance. 

And when I saw the so-called "James gang" — 
the last remnant in the state of unreconciled and unac- 
cepted parties to the local predatory struggle, suing 
for reconciliation — offering to throw themselves on the 
justice of the law and the mercy of the commonwealth, 
asking nothing but fair treatment — with but one aspira- 

Addresses to The Jury. 153 

tion and one hope, to devote, if allowed, the remainder 
of their lives and energies to the duties of husband, 
father and good citizenship, my whole heart went out 
in congratulation to the good people of the state. 

To the prisoner, his wife and their little boy, I had 
but one response to make to their personal appeal to 
m^. No man, no creature made in the image of God, 
could appeal to me for words of justice, for one throb 
of sympathy, under such conditions, without my heart 
beating a little warmly for him and his. 

As cowardly and mean as the miserable fellows 
are, who are traducing me for this act of chivalry and 
grace, I would ask mercy for them, if not justice — 
should they come to contrition, especially if they had 
wife and child, with piteous eyes beaming on me, 
pleading for the life of the man they love. 

It was in response to that overture, and to this sen- 
timent, that I consented to defend this man. On my 
promise to defend him he came from his hiding and 
handed his pistol to the governor of the state. To keep 
that promise I am here. What brave man, with any 
nobility in his soul, will deny the rectitude, the honor 
of my action ? 

I am not here as commissioner, with the judicial 
ermine around me. I am here as a licensed attorney 
of this commonwealth, standing on the commission of 
my manhood, trusting to nothing to rescue this prisoner 
save the law and the evidence, as I am able to under- 
stand and expound them to court and jury. 

Gentlemen of the jury, common fame has invested 
this defendant with unmerited notoriety — giving to his 

154 Addresses to The Jury. 

life much of romance. How much of truth and ho 
much of fiction there is in it all you and I know not m 
this trial. Under the broad shield of the constitution 
of the state he stands before you in this court room as 
any other citizen. The bond of your oath is that you 
know him only as the evidence shows him to be. You 
are to take him where the evidence finds him, and leave 
him where it places him. 

Public rumor is often a false and a foul thing. It 
has had Frank James identified with every outrage and 
bold robbery committed between the mountains o 
West Virginia and the Ozarks of Arkansas and Mis 
souri within the last six years. During these yeari 
rumor has placed him simultaneously in the counties o: 
Clay, Jackson, Lafayette, in this state and elsewhere^ 
wherever daring exploit in outlawry startled the 

But what does the state's own testimony disclose ? 
In i8j'6 he left this state, with all his earthly posses- 
sions — a two-horse wagon and his young wife — and 
went to the state of Tennessee. Everything about that 
movement indicated what } To my mind this is im- 
pressively significant. The miseries and ghosts of the 
war hung around his footsteps in Missouri. Weary 
and heart sick of it all he determined to turn his back 
upon it, and seek a new home, under an assumed 
name, in the hope that he might find a new life of 
peace in humble, honest industry. He had just taken 
to his bosom and confidence a young, trusting 
sweet woman. That of itself was highest proof that 
he was not seeking longer adventure, but that pleasure 



Addresses to The Jury. 155 

and happiness which come surest from domestic life 
and retirement. 

I confess myself surprised at the developments of 
this piece of evidence, touching upon the life and con- 
duct of this man during the years that followed his re- 
moval to Tennessee. It strengthens my faith in him. 
True it is that Jesse James accompanied him from Mis- 
souri. But in southeast Missouri they separated, like 
Abraham and Lot of old, one taking to the right and 
the other to the left, each pursuing his own course. 
Frank went to Nashville, not to maraud, not in quest 
of a new theatre of adventure. He went upon a little 
farm, and there he toiled, struggled and plead with the 
generous earth for bread and sustenance. The evi- 
dence declares that from early morn of Monday to 
nightfall on Saturday, week after week, year after year, 
he delved, drove teams, hauled logs, for one dollar 
and a half per day ; and for nearly five years he was 
not further from his little home than the nearest trading 
village or town. Respected and much liked by all his 
neighbors he ate his bread in peace. 

There, too, the first born of happy marriage came 
to gladden and lend a new charm to that humble home. 

As he has said to me, those were the happiest days 
of his life. His bread was sweet, because it was labor's 
reward. It was wet with no tears, and cankered by no 
cares, because it was planted in peace, watered with 
heaven's dews, and gathered with the hands hardened 
with honest toil. 

There is not on this jury a man who can believe 
that from the spring of 1S76 to the- time of the decamp. 

156 Addresses to The Jury. 

ment in the spring of 188 1 Frank James was engaged 
in any marauding expedition, or any violation of law, 
because both the state's testimony and that of the de- 
fense establish his constant presence at home and un- 
remittent farm labor. 

But where, during all those years of peaceful and 
honest living by the defendant, was that pink of a wit- 
ness — Dick Liddil — whom the state has presented as 
its chief reliance to convict this man? He himself 
admits that in 1879, when there is no pretense that 
James was in the state, or in confederation with any 
band, he voluntarily tendered his eminent services as 
an accomplished thief, cut-purse and cut-throat, to, 
what Mr. Wallace is' pleased to dub, "the gang." 
Where was this? Not in Tennessee, but in Mr. Wal- 
lace's own county here in Missouri. Who was that 
"gang?" Jesse James, Jim Cummings and Ed Miller. 
I do not know that all that has been imputed to them 
is true ; but if it be true that Dick Liddil was hail 
fellow with them, the "crowd" yvas not suited to run a 
prayer meeting or found a moral colony. What was 
Dick Liddil doing there in 1879? I asked him if he 
was not in the Glendale robbery, he declined to answer 
because it would criminate him. Shortly after that he 
appeared in Tennessee. He was a bad immigrant. 
It was the unhappiest day for Frank James in many 
years, when this slimy serpent of evil came crawling 
around him. Taking advantage of an acquaintance- 
ship relating back to boyhood almost, and of his knowl- 
edge of Frank James' incognita, he gained admission 
to his fireside and humble hospitality. Frank was in 

Addresses to The Jury. 157 

no condition to ''pe«ch" on any of these men. He 
could do so only by disclosing his identity, and render- 
ing further flight, with his wife and babe, a necessity. 
What was Dick doing? He had found Jesse James, 
and was marauding in Kentucky and Tennessee. He 
was merely keeping his hand in, by now and then 
plucking horses from the racks where the owners had 
hitched them, or gently persuading some belated trav- 
eler that he could get along best afoot or unburdened 
of his cash and watch. He himself, so willing to 
swear anything to help Mr. Wallace convict, does not 
pretend that Frank James had anything whatever to do 
with the Tennessee and Kentucky exploits. 

In the progress of this discussion we now come to 
the Bill Ryan episode, which seems to be the rallying 
point for the state's theory that the defendant was in 
combination with the gang. Bill Ryan was hanging 
around Nashville with Dick Liddil. Ryan got into 
some trouble and was arrested. On his person was 
found a large sum of money, and a portable arsenal. 
He was jailed; and immediately thereafter Frank 
James broke up his home, and he and family disap- 

Gentlemen of the jury, the best test for under- 
standing the conduct of others is, often, to put yourself 
in their places Surround yourself by the same cir- 
cumstances which environed Frank James — a man 
hunted and outlawed — whose name the public press of 
the country had for years associated with that of 
Jesse James, Cummings, Ryan and Liddil, to whom 
was attributed every daring robbery and outrage from 

15S Addresses to The Jury. 

the north of Kentucky to the valley of the Arkansas 


When, therefore, Ryan, in a druken debauch, fell 
into the law's grasp, under circumstances of such dark 
suspicion, his identity was liable to be discovered, as 
the sequal proved, and lead to the discovery of the 
covert of the defendant. The instinct of self preserva- 
tion is predominant in the average man; and the de- 
fendant, with quick apprehension, surmised, that to 
save himself, Ryan might give up his (James') secret. 
What w^as he to do? Ryan's confederates were stam- 
peded; and the dernier resort was forced upon the 
defendant to break his household idols, turn away from 
his little home, his wife and boy, and seek safety in a 
common retreat with those with whom he dared not 
break just then. 

The state's counsel have sought to make capital^ 
out of the fact that James retired with the "gang'« 
while he now claims that he wished tc) rid himself o* 
them. His first care was that of loyalty to his little 
family. His wife and child he sent, heavy hearted, to 
her friends in Missouri. Where should or where could 
he go? Where more likely would the outcast and the 
homeless man, hunted and watched, turn his eyes than 
to the door of his nearest kindred ? He went with the 
others to his aunt's— Mrs. Hite. She and her children 
of all others he had a right to believe had a place of 
welcome and refuge for him in the hour of extremity. 
Thither they went. After they left there we have but 
tw«> witnesses testifying here as to what occurred in 
Kentucky, where the Hites lived. 

Addresses to The Jury. 159 

Dick Liddil says they agreed to return to Mis- 
souri for pillage and plunder. On the other hand 
Frank James says that Jesse proposed to return to Mis- 
souri, and against that proposition he entered his solemn 
and earnest protest. Why not believe his story in pref- 
erence to Dick Liddil.? Is it not the more rational? 
It is corroborated by many facts and circumstances in 
evidence. The defendant says he told his brother they 
must not go to Missouri, as God knew their dear old 
mother had already suffered enough on their account. 
He called up the picture of the sorrow and desolation 
hitherto wrought in her home, how she had lost her arm 
by Pinkerton's detectives throwing handgrenades into 
her room, and also killing her little child and their 
brother; that their presence in the state would subject 
her to espionage and additional insult, if not injury and 
outrage. How natural was this argument and appeal.? 
But Jesse was heady *and desperate. On that rock they 

There is another confirmatory fact, favoring the 
defendant's story. He sent his wife to her father in 
Jackson county, Missouri. The family sewing ma- 
chine was forwarded by express to Page City, Missouri, 
in care, perhaps, of General Shelby. 

Mr. Wallace has discovered a real Trojan horse 
in this much traveled sewing machine. All that was 
left to the fugitive, panting, little wife of Frank James 
was her babe and the family sewing machine. Wal- 
lace has run that machine down with the whole detec- 
tive force of two railroads, and all the express compa- 
nies, between Kentucky and Kansas. There is nothing 

i6o Addresses to The Jury. 

in history or fiction comparable to this discovery of 
the efficient prosecuting attorney of Jaclcson county, 
unless it be the cabalistic letters on the curious stone 
discovered by Picwick. 

I am now satisfied that the extraordinary effort put 
forth by Mr. Wallace to run down this sewing machine 
was to use this remarkable piece of evidence as a sub- 
stitute for Dick Liddil's testimony, in the event the 
court should exclude Dick as an incompetent witness, 
he being a convicted thief. 

But to the argument. When Mrs. James reached 
Page City she told General Shelby she had come to him 
from her husband to request his intercession with the 
governor of the state to permit her husband to return to 
Missouri, under assurance of the protection of the law. 
General Shelby testified that was her mission. So, you 
have the absurd, improbable theory of the state, that 
while the husband was preparing a raid of brigandage 
upon the state he was employing his wife as a diplo- 
matic agent to negotiate for his surrender to the chief 
magistrate of the state. 

Counsel for the state will suggest that that was a 
mere ruse — that the defendant was employing his wife 
as a decoy duck to throw the officers off the trail. If, 
gentlemen of the jury, you are to drink in the suspi- 
cious, vindictive spirit of the private, hired counsel in 
this case, instead of the spirit of the law, which com- 
mands you to judge mercifully— if you are to smother 
reason under a load of suspicion, instead of heeding 
his Honor's instructions from the bench— to give the 
prisoner the benefit of every reasonable doubt— this 

Addresses to The Jury. i6i 

trial, under the forms of law, will be a mockery, and I 
would have no duty to perform here. But, you are a 
Christian jury in a Christian land, respecting your oaths 
and obeying yourselves the law; and, therefore, you 
will judge this man as you would be judged under like 

Mrs. James' mission to General Shelby was genu- 
ine. Shelby's testimony is worthy of all credit. It is 
but frank in me to admit that the General's deportment 
on the witness stand was improper, as a matter of pro- 
priety. It hurt no one so much as himself, and I know 
he regrets it. But he spoke truth. His high character 
needs no defense and no eulogy by me. His name is 
a household word in Missouri. As splendid in courage 
as he is big of heart, his home is the model for hospi- 
tality. No man however poor or outcast was ever 
turned from it hungry. Truth and chivalry to him are 
as modesty to the true woman, and azure to the sky. 

He has been denounced in public and in private as 
a friend of Frank James. Smirking Puritans and lugu- 
brious Pharisees have shrugged their shoulders at the 
fact of Shelby giving a bed and a glass of water and a 
pinch of salt to the defendant when he chanced to pass his 
door ; and for extending the hand of assistance and a word 
of sympathy to Frank James' wandering heart-sick wife. 
In the midst of so much moral cowardice and starveling 
charity in this age, I rather admire the quality of heart 
which prompted Shelby. It was not the promptings of 
a spirit of disloyalty to law and society, but it was the 
quick response of a brave and generous heart to that 
sentiment which makes us humane instead of savage. 


Addresses to The Jvry. 

There are ties betwixt these men which were 
formed back in war times, when they stood elbow to 
elbow upon "the perilous edge of battle." They had 
marched, tented and fought side by side. Who would 
dissolve the bonds of fellowship born of such comrade* 
ship.? It w^is natural for the defendant, in his extrem- 
ity, to turn toward such a man as Shelby. He knew 
Shelby would give audience and heed to the supplicak 
tions of a woman— the wife of an old comrade. Th4| 
mistake Shelby made was in not going to the governor';' 
and attempting to carry out James' wishes. But othe^' 
efforts, Shelby states, in that direction had failed. Sdf. 
he told Mrs. James it was useless to renew the attempt.? i 
Public temper was averse. So with heavy heart the litrfi 
tie woman had "the infernal sewing machine" reshippeij 
to her father at Independence, Missouri; while shJ| 
gathered her little boy closer to her bosom, and after Jl 
brief visit to her father, took up her long weary march"' 
to the Pacific slope, trusting to the deliverance of time^^ 
and Providence. <, 

There are other facts' in evidence confirmatory ofv-- 
defendant's story, that he broke from the "gang" and'^ 
went south. When Jesse James and Dick Liddili. 
appeared at Mrs. Samuel's— mother of the defendant—! 
she met them at the door and her first inquiry was; 
"Where is Buck (her pet name for Frank) .?" Franl 
was a delicate boy, and the mother's anxious heart toh 
her he was dead. She had not heard from him for so| 
long a time. Both Jesse and Liddil told her he had^ 
gone south. Her solicitude for Frank's welfare andj 
safety made her press the inquiry, whereat Liddil'' 

Addresses to The Jury. 163 

assured her that Frank was not with them — he had gone 
south. If Mrs. Samuels and John Samuels are to be 
discredited in this statement because of their relation- 
ship to the prisoner, what, Gentlemen of the Jury, are 
you to say to the testimony of Frank Tutt, Crowder, 
Childs and Shelby, wholly disinterested witnesses, of 
unimpeachable character? Liddil told them, when he 
was without any reasonable, or conceivable, motive to 
lie, both before and after his surrender, that he had not 
seen Frank James — that he was not in the Winston rob- 
bery — that he (Frank) and Jesse had quarreled and 
separated. Superadded to all this, look at the testi- 
mony of the throng of most reputable witnesses from 
Ray county, who told you what Mrs. Bolton — the 
State's important witness — over and again declared to 
them that Frank James was not at the Winston rob- 
bery — that he had been trying for years to earn an hon- 
est living, and the other parties would follow him up 
and try to get him into trolible ; and he would move 
away from them to escape the detectives — and that she 
had not seen him for years, although Jesse, Liddil and 
others of "the gang" were at her house about the time 
of this robbery. Now where did she get this story but 
from Dick Liddil and the rest of the party? 

We are next, in historical order, brought to Mis- 
souri in the spring of iSSi, prior to the \Vinston rob- 
bery. The identification of Frank James, as one of the 
participants in the alleged homicide of McMillan, 
depends mainly upon the testimony of Dick Liddil. 
The learned counsel for the state, who have preceded 
me in argument, have warned you that I would abuse 

164 Addresses to The Jury. 

poor Dick Liddil. If I did not, in this respect, meet 
their expectation it would be because of the injunction'; 
that we ought not to "kick a dead dog." For he is s<S 
morally dead that like Lazarus he stinketh in the nos« 
trils of every honest man. If ever there stood a crea* 
ture in a court of justice as a witness who has justly^- 
called down upon him the imprecations and loathings 
of every manly heart it is this witness. There is noth- 
ing — absolutely nothing — in and about the fellow to ex- 
cite one emotion of pity, sympathy or respect. We are 
just as the good God has made us. We are endowed' 
with certain instincts and sentiments which we would 
not resist if we could. The world over the brave and 
the true despise a traitor and a coward. This man is 
both: a coward, because to save himself he would, 
through perjury, destroy his alleged confederate; a 
traitor he is to friendship, confidence and honor, even 
among thieves. By his own confession he entered into 
a common enterprise, and after having shared the com- 
mon hazard and a common spoil he betrays those with 
whom he enlisted. He is no youth, corrupted by the 
defendant. Years before he claims any association with 
Frank James he was a convicted horse ihief, a peniten- 
tiary graduate. 

For fifty years the British government, from which 
comes our noble heritage of common law and civil insti- 
tutions, has suffered no citizen of that realm to be con- 
victed on the uncorroborated testimony of such admitted 
accomplice in crime. How desperate must be the cause 
of the state when it resorts to such a witness. 

Addresses to The Jury. 165 

You, gentlemen of the jury, have never met with 
such a constellation of atrocities in any one man as this 
fellow represents in his character. He comes, just he- 
fore this trial,' to this state, crawling vampire like, 
from the jail in Alabama, to drink the life blood of 
this defendant; to taint the sanctuary of justice with 
his false breath, instmct with venom, and wreaking 
with treachery to the offices of friendship and hospi- 

He should never have been permitted to pollute 
the Bible by taking the "oath on the book." He should 
have been sworn on the knife — the dagger — the proper 
symbol of his profession. "A superservicable rogue, 
coward and pander," he is ready and willing to swear 
without mercy, stint, limit or conscience, to make sure 
of his victim. 

Did you observe, gentlemen of the jury, while on 
the witness stand, how he smirked and giggled with 
evident satisfaction at his smartness, as he detailed the 
facility with which he snatched other men's horses from 
hitching posts and stables, as boys pick blackberries in 
August? By his own confession he is guilty of all that 
public rumor and indictments have imputed to Frank 
James. Highway robbery and murder are his pastime. 

By the law of this state he is disqualified from ex- 
ercising the oi"dinary privileges of citizenship — of suff- 
rage and sitting on juries. The law says, through your 
state legislature, that this man Liddil is so steeped 
in crime, so morally tainted, he is unfit almost to be a 
citizen, disqualified from exercising the functions of of- 
ficial trust, or to handle the ballot, or to sit in the trial 

1 66 Addresses to The Jury. 

of the rights of property, liberty, or life, between \i\i\ 
fellow men, or the public and a citizen. There is not 
a man on this jury who would this hour consent that 
this fellow should sit as a juror between you and your 
neighbor to determine the rights of property between yon 
as to an acorn fed hog or a sheep with scabs and burrs 
as ornaments. Yet the prosecution, on behalf of the 
great state of Missouri, are so desperate in their thirst for 
the life of Frank James, that, with audacious clamor, 
they demand of you to believe this wretch, and take- 
human life predicated of his credibility. You will do 
no such thing! 

GentiJinen of the jury, I witnessed here in this 
court house a sight I trust my eyes may never see again 
in an American court of justice. Let me go back a 
little. This witness was confined in jail in Alabama. 
Before the last term of this court he was brought to 
Missouri to testify against the prisoner at the bar. He 
was bailed, and no doubt offered his freedom, on con- 
dition of swearing away the life of Frank James. He 
has been smuggled, hid and concea'ed from all other 
eyes than those of his masters and trainers in Kansas 
City. Like some curious animal brought from Eastern 
jungle for exhibition, he has been kept concealed from 
the public until the circus opened. He has been fed 
and housed at the court house in Kansas City under the 
guardianship of supple officers of that county, exercised 
I presume, only between suns. The day before he was 
needed here he was, at the bidding of the prosecution, 
put under arrest for some undisclosed offense. He is 
neither jailed nor bailed, but put in charge of a deputy 

Addresses to The Jury. 167 

marshal of that county and brought here as a prisoner, 
escorted around town, on exhibition, as the master 
swearer of the age, who was to swear away the life of 
Frank James as baselessly as the two men of Belial 
swore away the life of Naboth. No person, outside of 
the elect, was permitted to come in contact with the 
creature, as if he were a leper. He and the deputy 
marshal have been inseparable since coming here. 
They eat together, sleep together, until they begin to 
look alike and smell alike. And when the sheriff of 
this jurisdiction called "Richard Liddil" as a witness, 
he came into the court house and on this platform, to 
the witness stand, and by his side came and sat through- 
out his testimony his alter ego — his body guard and 
shadow — the deputy marshal of Jackson county. 

Mr. Wallace was unwilling to trust the man on 
the witness stand without this physical pressure — with- 
out the deputy, with eye of menace gleaming upon the 
wretch, as if to scream at him: Swear! Swear! You 
scoundrel, or I will rend you with the talons of the law ! 

Such are the agencies employed to gratify private 
ambition to secure a verdict of guilfy in this case. It 
was a spectacle worthy of the worst despotism of the 
meanest tyranny of ancient times, but a reproach and a 
shame to a free, Christian Republic, with a written 
constitution, reposing for its security and glory upon 
the rights of individual man. 

What a galaxy of witnesses — what a cluster of 
virtues — the state presents to you, gentlemen of the 
^jury, for your justification in taking Laman life. Cir- 
cling around Liddil come the Fords and Mrs. Bolton, 


Addresses to The Jury. 


to swear that Frank James was in the country at the 
time of the robbery and homicide in question. What a 
cockatrice's nest that was to hatch out vipers ! I dis- 
like to assail a woman under any circumstances. In a 
land like ours where woman is so universally respected, 
her very name should at once be "the assurance of her 
strength and the amulet of her protection:" but my 
observation has been that a woman, as has been said, 
is like a stone, the higher elevation from which she 
falls the deeper she sinks into the mire. When she 
does fall, like Lucifer, she falls forever. 

Mrs. Bolton is a bad woman. Her whole family 
are wicked and degraded. There is neither virtue nor 
truth among them. For money or hate they would 
dare any desperate thing. All their neighbors, the 
best men in Ray county, come here and testify that 
these people are unworthy of belief. But if no witness 
spoke against the general reputation of this household, 
if their testimony did not destroy itself with palpable 
contradictions and inconsistencies— the attendant cir- 
cumstances of the^Wood Hite tragedy in the "Bolton 
Castle" are enough to damn the whole family with 
ineffaceable infamy and perjury. 

Dick Liddil was hibernating in that robber's den. 
On the fifth day of December, iSSi, Wood Hite— 
cousin of the James boys— arrived at this rendezvous 
from Kentucky. He was killed in the family dining 
room before breakfast, the morning of his arrival. 
Dick Liddil took shelter behind his privilege and de- 
clined to tell about it on the witness stand, for the 
reason that it might incriminate him. Ah, if there had 

Addresses to The Jury. 169 

been no innocent blood on his hands, he could have 
unfolded a plain, unvarnished story, exonerating him- 
self. Mrs. Bolton came upon the stand. She was as 
close as an oyster. She knew^ Wood Hite — a man — 
was slain in her own house on that Sabbath morn 
when God's bright sun had arisen for his day's journey. 
She made no out-cry for help — no demand fqr justice. 
Like a butchered hog the murdered victim was carried 
up stairs and covered up in bed, crimson with flowing 
human blood. During the day she entertained, with 
hospitable display, her neighbor visitors down stairs, 
while this horrible corpse was up stairs, breathing no 
word of the awful tragedy. One false step begets an- 
other, and when a witness begins to lie, one lie evolves 
another. Mrs. Bolton having denied that she saw the 
murdered man down stairs, says she did not see him up 
stair, and that she had never since been in the room 
above, where he lay all that Sabbath day, a ghastly, 
bloody corpse. She shrunk, I presume, with horror 
from contact with that domestic morgue. 

The woman, doubtless, has some sensibility left; 
for it is said there is nothing so black it will not burn 
to something in hell. Every plank in the floor of that 
room, and rafter in the ceiling, spoke to her of blood 
and murder, while the moaning winds through the 
cracks were but the echoes of the dying man's agonies. 

But murder will out. From one of her children, 
whose age exempted him from pleading his privilege, 
we extracted a part of the truth. After impenetrable 
darkness had settled down over the world, hiding the 
damnable deed from other eyes, late at night the 

170 Addresses to The Jury. 


Ford boys stripped from the corpse the pants and coat, 
which they appropriated to their own use, and wrap- 
ping the body, unwashed and all clotted with blood, in 
a stinking, wornout horse blanket, they carried it out 
into the woods, and dumped it, uncoffined, without a 
prayer or a sigh, into a shallow hole, covering it with 
stones, brush and dirt, and then like ghouls crept back 
to their den to plan and scheme for hiding this dreadful 

Talk of a jury crediting the evidence of such a 
family ; dead to every emotion of human sympathy, 
insensible to every moral instinct and sentiment which: 
distinguishes man from the savage or the brute, what 
regard have such creatures — such monsters — for truths 
or the right ? 

Now we can begin to discern the governing motive 
influencing the action of Dick Liddil in turning state's 
evidence and informer. When he began to reflect 
upon the possibilities of the discovery of this horrible 
crime his coward soul quaked. Jesse James was in the 
country. Would he not, on discovering the murder of- 
his cousin, visit swift and terrible judgment upon the 
perpetrators } So the conspirators and the assassins fell 
upon the plan of informers. The state's counsel tell 
you that Liddil was actuated by a sense of duty in un- 
dertaking to deliver over the James boys. Yes, he, 
turned patriot — the last refuge of a scoundrel. It was 
the ghastly face of Wood Hite, which moved about the j 
murderer's room at night, and dread of the living face ■ 
of Jesse James, that compelled him to add to his crown; 
of infamies the words : informer and perjurer. 

Addresses to The Jury. \*]i 

A mysterious bond of interest and sympathy sprung 
up at once between Liddil and Mrs. Bolton. They 
became like two roses on one stem — alike in hue and 
ordor. Mrs. Bolton, dressed in black — appropriate 
symbol of death and mourning — and thickly veiled — 
to screen a harlot's mission — went to see the governor 
of the state, to open up negotiations for Liddil's and 
her brothers' — the Ford boys — surrender. This terri- 
ble butchery of Wood Hite was carefully concealed 
from the governor. 

The surrender proposed was placed on the high 
ground of weariness with the life the Jameses had led 
them, and a desire to serve the state by compassing 
their destruction. Under this assurance indemnity was 
secured for her brood — Bob and Charley Ford — and 
her dear Richard. The very bond of this unmixed, 
unmitigated villain was to destroy this defendant and 
his brother Jesse. No honor to preserve, no conscience 
to restrain him, yielding only to the instinct of self- 
preservation, he is ready to swear anything and every- 
thing to serve his master and get the lion — Frank 
James — out of his trembling footpath. Jesse James 
soon went down by the assassin bullet of Bob Ford. 
This knit the Fords and Liddil still closer together. 
Dick has since been convicted of crime in Alabama; 
and the men managing and manipulating this prosecu- 
tion went his bail and brought him here. He is to be 
freed from that conviction if he can swear Frank 
James to the death. No witness was ever produced in 
any court under such a pressure, such motives to swear 
hard and long. And the question for this* jury 


172 Addresses to The Jury. 

to first answer, when you retire to consider of your ver^' 
diet, is, whether you will credit the testimony of such 
a witness under such circumstances. 

If you decide him to be unworthy of belief, that 
will be the end of this prosecution. The state in put- 
ting such a rogue, unshriven, on the witness stand ad- 
mits that she has not a case without his testimony. 

It is useless further to discuss the identification of 
the defendant in Missouri at the time of the robbery in 
question dependent upon the testimony of the Ford- 
Bolton gang. The Bolton children are chips off the 
old block. They but reflect the teachings of the dragon 
that bred them. The little girl, about which there 
is so much gush, was brought here and taken by the 
old lady Bolton and the prosecuting counsel before 
James, who was pointed out to her. Why, or how,' 
she recognized him she can not tell. She is to be pitied,- 
and the prosecution should blush. 

Touching theindentificationof Frank James by thd 
citizens of this county, 1 beg to say that I do not ques- 
tion the honesty of all of them ; but I wish you, 
gentlemen of the jury, to take this thought with you 
into your retirement: How unreliable is the judgment, 
how falible the human mind, in a matter of identity* 
Much depends upon the accuracy of the eye, the 
faculty of comparison, the memory — the power of 
analysis. Nothing which my profession encounters in 
practice is so uncertain and perplexing as testimony 
respecting the identity of animals. I have seen twenty 
and thirty intelligent and respectable witnesses, with 
positiveness and earnestness, swear to cross purposes as 

Addresses to The Jury. 173 

to the identity of a well known cow or horse, with 
clearly defined marks to distinguish them. 

In the vegetable world there are no two leaves of clover 
alike, yet, how many men can distinguish them ? The hu- 
man vision is as liable to mislead as the human judg- 
ment. The mind, in its operations in psychology, 
metaphysics, and perception, is a curious thing. Its 
independent operation is rare. It is oftener influenced 
by the laws of association. You fix your mind on a 
certain object, with the previous suggestion that it is 
a certain thing, no matter what its tints and lights, 
nine chances out of ten you will conclude it is precisely 
what it is represented to be. Many a child sees the 
man in the moon, clearly outlined, because it was told 
the man is there. 

The whole country was taught to believe that 
Frank and Jesse James were inseparable — that where- 
ever Jesse was there was Frank. As it was conceded 
that Jesse was in the Winston robbery, Frank's pres- 
ence, as we lawyers say, went nem coti. When Frank 
surrendered everybody concluded they had the man 
who was engaged in the Winston affair. Everybody 
went to see him, at jail, with that impression deeply 
fixed. So, when the identifying witnesses went to the 
jail to see Frank they had no difficulty in pointing him 
out, for they were led to his cell. If Wood Hite had 
been in one cell and Frank in the other, there is not 
one of these witnesses, uniided, who could have 
singled out Frank James; no, not one of them. The 
general description given by the witnesses of Wood 
Hite covers James exactly, to the average mind ; and 

1 74 Addresses to The y?iry. 

it would require a close personal acquaintance with 
both to distinguish them. 

Take the instance of Potts, the blacksmith, re- 
garded by the State as an important witness. When 
he first went to the jail he could not say he recognized 
the prisoner. A second time he saw him, and was 
not satisfied. After Jesse James was killed and Potts 
was shown his photograph he exclaimed: "Why, 
that is the man I saw in my shop!" If Jesse instead 
Frank were on trial. Potts, and his wife — who swears 
just as her "hubby" does — would be equally as sure 
of their man. Old Potts had heard much, in the 
meantime, of what kind of whiskers the prisoner wore. 
He had heard talk of "burnsides," — he called them 
"sideburns." He put "sideburns" on Frank and 
Dick Liddil; and if this trial had lasted another week 
he would have had "sideburns" on the horses. After 
Potts learned that the horses he shod belonged to 
the "James gang" he recognized- every approaching 
stranger, on horseback or in wagon, as the same men 
who were at his shop, and would break out of his 
shop and cover himself in the impenetrable armor of a 
weed patch. 

So with the other witnesses. They went to the 
jail for the purpose of identifying the prisoner. They 
knew Frank was in jail. The process by which they 
reached the conclusion of identity was simple and 
natural. The mind was prepared for it. They had a 
full description of him. They had read it in the news- 
papers, and talked it over with the diligent pi-osecution. 
Does any man on this jury believe, if after two years 

Addresses to The Jury, 175 

time, when the whiskers, dress, and whole physical 
appearance of the man were changed, if any of these 
witnesses had met, by chance, James in the public road, 
or in town, they would have recognized him ? 

Last fall I spoke at a political mass meeting in 
Kansas City for one hour. The next morning I entered 
a barber shop, took the chair, and was shaved. The 
room was small and there were several gentlemen in 
there. While shaving me the barber and all present 
discussed my speech — some in praise and some in dis- 
praise. All of them heard the speech, including the 
man shaving me. I had on the same clothes, yet not 
one of them recognized me until told of their blunder. 

How many of these witnesses would have recog- 
nized Dick Liddil had he come to this trial unheralded } 
Special pains were taken by the drill masters for the 
prosecution to exhibit him and have him identified. No 
one can tell how he was dressed on that raid, although 
they can tell all about Frank James' apparel, because 
they learned it from Liddil's story. Liddil is as marked 
a man in appearance as James, or more so. He 
has a villainous look, with a protruding eye, lying 
around on his cheek, that no man ought ever to forget. 

There has been marked industry and work by the 
state. Even the kind of toes to James' boots has been 
described, when the witnesses could not tell anything 
about the shoes or boots of others of the party. On the 
witness stand we had a striking illustration of the in- 
firmity and danger of this character of evidence. Mrs. 
Wolfinberger swore with womanly energy and assur- 
ance to the identity of the prisoner. She is a positivist — 

I'j6 Addresses to The Jury. 

never mistaken. She was asked, in test of her accuracy 
of judgment, if she had ever seen any of the counsel for 
the prisoner prior to this trial. "O, yes; I saw Gov- 
ernor Johnson here, in this court house, last June." 
Well, it turns out she was mistaken; she did not see the 
governor with his smiling, impressive face. She was 
equallly as positive about having seen the governor as 
she is of having seen James on the raid. 

On such evidence of identity, you, gentlemen of the 
jury, are asked to take this man's life. Beware! 

I must not quit this branch of the evidence without 
noticing the testimony of old man Soule. This witness 
is a genius — or rather sui gejteris. He belongs to the 
Pilgrim Fathers. He came over in the May Flower, 
beyond a doubt. He is a regular Praise-God-Barebones. 
In the absence of camp meetings and elections, he is 
perishing for a hanging. He knows he has the right 
man. He has brooded so long, and intently over the 
delivery of his testimony on this trial that he actually 
panted under its burden. He was a regular pent-up 
Utica. I thought he would burst. He sat one heel on 
the other of his brogans, threw his head back to the 
buttons on the back of his coat, and shot up his waist- 
band whei^e his nose should have been. He started to 
get out of his clothes, in illustration of an answer to a 
question put to him by myself, and if the judge had not 
stopped him he would have been in dishabille before 
this jury, dancing the "racquette." He saw Frank, 
"and don't you forget it." He traced the horses 
which Frank and his companion rode, around to Mont- 
gomery's where the party, whoever they were, took 

Addresses to The Jury. 177 

supper that evening. Clearly therefore the man who is 
identified by Soule as Frank James is the same man 
who went to Montgomery's and ate supper. To com- 
plete his testimony, therefore, it was reasonabl-e to sup- 
pose that the state would introduce the Montgomerys 
in corroboration. The Montgomerys were brought 
here on subpoena at the instance of the state, and were 
in attendance when the state closed its testimony. Why 
did not the state introduce them? Is the state seeking 
conviction, right or wrong.? Does this prosecution re- 
present the dignity and honor of the state, or the ambi- 
tion of private counsel ? 

The instrumnentality of the grand jury — the in- 
dictment — this investigation and trial — are, under the 
theory of the constitution and the law of the land, sup- 
posed to be designed solely to develop the truth and at- 
tain the ends of public justice. The prosecuting attor- 
ney, in his office, represents the whole body of the 
people. The defendant is equally the object, in con- 
templation of law, of his protection and vindication. 
The public prosecutor who would convict a prison by 
withholding part of the testimony violates his oath of 
office, and becomes accessory to a great wrong. 

But the truth is that this prosecution has long since 
passed from the control of the officer designated by 
the statute of the state for its management and conduct. 
It is under the complete and absolute control of private 
prosecutors, who are seeking victory and fame, am- 
bition and revenge have usurped the high province of 
justice, and the dignity and peace of the state are 


lyS Addresses to The Jnry. 

bartered away in the greed and struggle of the volunteer 
and hired aids for cheap glory. 

The defense had to put the Montgomerys on the 
witness stand. Mrs. Montgomery and daughter, who 
waited on the men at the table that evening, with every 
favorable opportunity for observation, tell you the 
prisoner is not the man. And the reasons assigned by 
them for their conclusion leave no reasonable room for 
doubt as to the correctness of their judgment. 

One other thought in this connection. The strik- 
ing similarity between Wood Hite and Frank James 
made it quite plausible for Dick Liddil to substitute 
Frank for Hite. So much so is this true that if Hite 
were alive and on trial instead of the prisoner, the same 
evidence given by Liddil, and that in corroboration, 
so-called, would apply with equal force to Hite. It 
must be kept in mind that in order to place Frank 
James in the Winston robbery the state must show 
there were five persons in that raid. Four of them are 
conceded by the State to be Jesse James, Wood Hite, 
Clarence Hite and Dick Liddil. 

Now, only four men were seen together by any 
witness, outside of Liddil. When separated two were 
invariably together. To account for the absence of 
the fifth man Liddil always had him off somewhere on 
a reconnoitering expedition, to see when the trains 
would pass the towns or to get provisions. But there 
came a time when, if there were five men in the party, 
it was in the power of the state and Liddil to 
show it by other witnesses. You will remeniber, 
gentlemen, that on the day before the robbery and 

Addresses to The Jitry, 179 

homicide in question Liddil had all the parties on 
horseback in Daviess county. Jesse, Frank and Clarence 
Hite were together, Dick and Wood Hite were 
together, — according to Sir Richard. The party of 
three are accounted for by other witnesses, who saw 
the group of three together. But where is the witness 
who saw the other two at or about that time? Liddil 
says he and Wood Hite ate dinner together. Where? 
Who saw you? Mark me here, gentlemen of the jury, 
on every other day save this Liddil, with wonderful 
precision, could tell you where he stopped and ate. 
The name of the family was p^t on his lips. He could 
tell you the number of the children in the family — the 
dress of each — how their hair was combed, and how 
the nose was kept. He could describe the host and 
hostess, the character of the house, the stables and out- 
houses. But on this important day, when he and Wood 
Hite dined together, and which would have definitely 
settled the presence of the fifth man on the raid if cor- 
roborated as to this dining, Richard was not himself", but 
was all at sea. He could not give the name of the 
landlord, nor any description of the family, the country, 
nor anything by which we might catch him in his lie. 

The old fox was cornered at last. He and his 
trainers had not anticipated this crisis. If they had, 
Liddil would have had this fifth man off alone on some 

We are now brought, in the process of this discus- 
sion, to the scene of the robbery and homicide. (Here 
the speaker discussed with elaboration the declarations 
of law given by the court, especially with reference to 

I So Addresses to The Jury. 

the character of corroborating testimony and circum- 
stances essential to warrant the jury in convicting on 
the testimony of an accomplice.) 

You, gentlemen of the jury, must not forget in 
your deliberations that this corroboration of Liddil 
must be as- to the res gestae that it must be material, 
independent, facts showing the actual presence of the 
prisoner, not alone somewhere on that raid, but at the 
time and place of the homicide. 

It must be borne in mind that it is an easy matter 
for Dick Lrddil to detail, with great particularity, the 
events preceding the attack on the train. It is easy for 
him to detail the incidents of the raid into Livingston 
county, just preceding, and the minutia of the robbery 
and what followed, for the simple reason that he was a 
participant in and eye witness of it all. But this is not 
corroboration in contemplation of the law, as declared 
to you in these instructions of the court. Who corrobo- 
rates Dick Liddil that Frank James was present atxthe 
homicide ? This is the all important, material ques- 
tion ; and you must never lose sight of this when the 
prosecution are talking to you about Liddil being cor- 

Strike out of this case the testimony of that 
scoundrel Liddil and I submit that there is not a scin- 
tilla of proof on which an honest, intelligent jury could 
base a conclusion that Frank James was present at the 
robbery and homicide in question. No one saw him; 
no one pretends to have recognized him there. Who 
shot the deceased, McMillan, or how the person did it, 
no one knows, so far as we can judge from this testi- 

Addresses to The Jury. i8i 

mony. Outside of Liddil's testimony, tliere is not a 
man on this jury who can place his hand on his heart 
and say that the prisoner was within ten miles of the 
tragedy. Under the instructions of the court, and the 
solemn bond of your recorded oath, you are bound to 
say there is no corroboration of Liddil as to the actual 
and required presence of Frank James at the place and 
time of the homicide. You can not, therefore, convict 
this man, without disobeying the law, so it seems to me. 
You, gentlemen, are courageous and honest 
enough, 1 trust, to say so though all hell rise in arms 
against you. Even were it conceded that Frank James 
was present at the robbery, the case of the state must 
fail. Governor Crittenden told you from that witness 
stand that that Prince of Scoundrels and Liars, Dick 
Liddil, shortly after his surrender told him that Frank 
James was not responsible for the killing of McMillan; 
that on the contrary, that when Frank saw that human 
life had been taken he upbraided Jesse James for the 
unnecessary act, reminding him that the distinct under- 
standing was that no blood was to be shed, and that 
had he (Frank) anticipated this homicide he would 
have abandoned the expedition. That thereat Jesse 
replied he had done it in order to bind his band more 
closely. Crediting this statement of Liddil, it shows 
that the homicide was not committed in furtherance of 
the prosecution of a common design or undertaking. 
Neither was it done from the necessity of the situation 
in which one of the conspirators suddenly found him- 
self while engaged in the prosecution of the design to 
rob. It was an act, on the contrary, of pure wanton- 

1 82 Addresses to The Jury. 

ness, perpetrated by one of the parties wholly aside 
from the common enterprise, and on his individual 
responsibility. As such, under the instruction of the 
court, and upon principles of plain justice, the defend- 
ant can not be held responsible for that homicide. 

If his Honor on the bench were on trial, you 
would not hesitate to acquit him on this evidence. 
Under the law the life of this defendant is as precious 
as that of the judge, or the chief magistrate of this 
commonwealth. This is among the chief glories of 
the Republic ; it shields him as it does the most exalted. 
To sacrifice the life of Frank James at the behest of 
popular prejudice and clamor is to wound and cut 
down the spirit of justice, and murder liberty at the 

My associates have so clearly shown from the 
evidence that in fact only four men participated in the 
attack on the train that I need scarcely add a word to 
strengthen this part of the defense. The third man 
who cut the bell rope I am satisfied was the brakeman. 
Where is he.? Why has not the state, backed as it is 
in this prosecution by the railroad companies, pre- 
sented him here, or accounted for his absence.? He is 
singularly absent. He was an important witness, as 
he must have been quite a factor in the transaction. 
No higher evidence of the desperation and vindictive- 
ness of this prosecution was furnished during this trial 
than the wanton, cruel and unmanly attack made upon 
Mr. Brosius. His testimony was pointed. It shows, 
indisputably and irrefutably, that but two men entered 
the car. If so the state's theory of the homicide is 

Addresses to The Jury. 183 

blasted. Therefore, counsel for the prosecution have 
sought to destroy the good name and reputation of this 
young man. How heartless the assault made upon 
him ! He is your fellow countyman — an ornament to 
the bar and the community. No cloud of dishonor 
has ever fallen across his pathway. 

But for personal ambition, a triumph in this case, 
counsel, who have known him so long — how pure and 
manly he is — would relentlessly strike him down, not 
only before his own people, but before his wife and 
little ones. Shame, unspeakable shame, on such 
methods, and such an unchivalrous spirit. Let your 
verdict be his vindication. 


Gentlemen of the jury, the defense might safely 
have rested its cause where the state left it. But the 
prisoner had nothing to conceal, pertinent to this issue. 
It was his wish to take the stand, and lay before you 
his whole history bearing upon this investigation. Is 
there either internal or external improbability in his 
story.? When he broke from "the gang" in Kentucky, 
before their return to Missouri, where and to whom 
could he more safely and more reasonably and more 
naturally turn than to his sister's home in Texas.'' The 
world was in arms against him. She lived in a remote 
frontier settlement, where perhaps he might find 
shelter from the huntsman's pack. 

Counsel for the state fancied they had put the 
defendant in a cul-de-sac when he could not tell all the 
places and points of his travel to and through Texas 

184 Addresses to The Jury. 

with the same detail, as to hotels, towns and railroads, 
when traveling through the south at one time with his 
wife and child. Why is it, they ask, he can not give 
the names of houses, etc., in his tour through Texas.-* 
Frank James' ways and methods, Mr. Wallace, were 
too deep and strategic for your ken, else you and your 
jackal pack would have scented the game, and secured 
the prize money before he disappointed them by sur- 
rendering to the governor. 

The situatio'n and tactics of Frank James, while 
traveling with his wife and child, in a densely popu- 
lated country, was necessarily, or naturally enou^, 
quite different from traveling to and through Texas. 
What was consummate tact in the one case would have 
been mortal stupidity in the other. In the Atlantic 
States he and his wife were utter strangers. The very 
manner of his open travel, with wife and child, at- 
tracted no attention. But in Texas he was alone. Its 
towns and thoroughfares are peopled- with Missourians 
— with men who marched and camped with hirri during 
the war. Traveling alone he had no occasion to go to 
hotels. At Denison he trusted alone to a single friend. 
From there to his sister's he road, "a solitary horse- 
man." He asked nobody's name, as he would not 
provoke inquiry as to his own. At his sister's house 
he remained in absolute seclusion, for the very obvious 
reason, that had he exposed himself to strangers and 
"cowboys," it would have excited inquiry as to who he 
was, and what he did there. When he rode out for 
exercise he was a "ranger." When he went to Deni- 
son to meet his friend, to hear from his wife, he rode 

Addresses to The yury. 185 

through the Indian Territory, and accepted the hospi- 
tality of the no-talking Indian. 

But why don't you give up the name of the friend 
at Denison, inquire the state's counsel. I'll tell you 
frankly: It is because Frank James, unlike your pet, 
Dick Liddil, never betrays a friend or foe. Situated 
as Frank James was, with the royal posse comitatus 
of a state after him, with a swarm of detectives and 
spies scenting his footsteps like sleuth-hounds, stimu- 
lated to assassination by large rewards, it was peril- 
ous for any citizen to give this hunted man shelter, 
bread, or to be even the medium of a word of love 
from his far-away wife. Whatever the world may 
think of Frank James he is made of that stuff, before 
he would expose to public obloquy, without his con- 
sent, the name of the man who thus succored him, he 
would march to the dead-fall on the scaffold as calm 
and intrepid as did the grand marshal of Saxony to 
his untimely grave. 

We had in the progress of this trial a striking illus- 
tration of the inviolability of the laws of hospitality and 
personal confidence. Frank O'Neill, the accomplished 
correspondent of the Missouri Republican, when 
asked on the witness stand to give the name of the 
third person present at the interview had by him with 
Frank James, just prior to his formal surrender to the 
Governor, declined to answer, for the reason that to do 
so would be a breach of confidence, and unnecessarily 
subject to crilicism a friend. It was manly and brave 
in him to stand firm and keep faith. And the court 
showed how sacred is the regard for that unwritten law 

1 86 Addresses to The Jury. 

of friendship, in that he would not enforce a disclos- 
ure even in a judicial investigation. 

What was a virtue in O'Neill, ought not to be an 
incrimintiting act on the part of Frank James. I honor 
the man who would die for a friend rather than the 
wretch who would betray even an enemy. 

If Frank James was not in Texas, as he testified, 
Palmer and wife are perjurers. Had their testimony 
been fabricated. Palmer would have had himself a 
home all the time James was there ; and Mrs. Palmer 
would have had him there on the identical day of the 
Winston robbery. ,But she told her story, let it bear as 
it might. Is Mrs. Palmer unworthy of belief because 
she is a sister? Is it the unwritten law of a Christian 
land that where blood runs thick and sisterly love is 
quick, perjury knots and breeds? You, gentlemen of 
the jury, beheld her on the witness stand. You looked 
into her calm, sweet face, all over which God has 
written innocence, purity and truth. Will you brook 
its persuasive eloquence and stamp it with perjuiy, that 
Dick Liddil and the hangman may chuckle in their 
triumph ? 

Nor is that all. If that smirking scoundrel, with 
a heart all dead to pity, festering with the canker 
of multiplied crimes, is to be believed, Nickolson, 
John Samuels, Tom Mimms, and old Mrs. Samuels 
have each, separately, sworn falsely and corruptly. 
But who impeaches them? Public fame speaks here 
through no witness against their reputation for truth. 
No breach was made in the consistency or reasonable- 

Addresses to The Jury. 1S7 

ness of their testimony by either a rigid, skillful, or 
bullying cross-examination. 

Mrs. Samuels, it is true, is the prisoner's mother. 
I know how the unfeeling world and a censorious, sen- 
sational press have chided her — even making her the 
subject of ribald jest. But whatever else she may be 
to the world, she is to this prisoner a mother. What- 
ever he may be to4:he jaundiced public eye, to her he is 
a son — her boy "Buck." O! How much of divinity 
and consecration are wrapped up in those two words — 
mother, child! How the one stirs while it chastens our 
youth ; while the other quickens the pulse and gladdens 
the heart of old age. 

It has been whispered about this temple of justice, 
and into too-willing ears, that this old mother is un- 
worthy of belief, and ought to have staid at home. 
The icy heart often tells the mother to let her child go; 
but the instinct of a mother's heart knows no policy, 
it employs no strategem and deploys no vidette. Like 
the intrepid Douglass, who carried with him on the 
Crusades the heart of Robert Bruce, and flung it into 
the midst of the foe, where carnage and death rioted, 
in order to inspire his soldiers to its rescue, the mother 
will follow her heart — her child — wherever perils most 
beset him. 

Who will banish her from this court room ? Who 
shall set bounds to her devotion, measure, estimate it, 
or reach down to its fathomless depths, grasp and bind 
its operations? Rather go tell the earth to cease its 
revolutions ; the sun to cease to warm ; and the sea be 

l88 Addresses to The J7iry. 

As "day unto day uttereth speech, and night show- 
eth knowledge thereof/' this old mother Samuels, 
never lifts up in prayer, or moves in her daily round of 
domestic duty, her right arm that its missing hand does 
not remind her of persecution and suffering endured 
because she was a mother. And if, as often as her 
children have looked upon that handless arm, they have 
felt the beatings of the tiger's heart within them, at 
thought of the mercenary vandals who, to slake their 
thirst for gold and feed their ravenous maws on prize 
money, threw- hand grenades into a mother's home, 
tearing muscle from muscle and bone from bone, and 
murdering her innocent helpless child, is it too much, 
in human nature, to say the world ought to forgive them 
much ! 

If Frank James was in the country, at the time of 
the robbery and homicide in question, she knew it, as 
did her family. They swear he was not; and the mother 
was told by Liddil that Frank had gone south. Before 
they were placed under the necessity of swearing other- 
wise, under the compact to destroy the defendant to 
save their own necks, Dick Liddil, INIrs. Bolton and 
the Ford boys, over and over again, declared that 
Frank was not in that raid. Will you believe them then 
or now.? Dick Liddil told Frank Tutt, Crowder, 
Chiles and General Shelby that Frank James was not 
here. He then had no conceivable motive to deceive 
these men, whereas he now has every motive and incen- 
tive that a bad, desperate, cowardly man could have, 
to place Frank in the robbery. 

Addresses to The Jury. 189 

Every instinct of humanity, every sentiment of 
chivalry and justice and mercy plead with you to disbe- 
lieve that cringing, crawling recreant, Dick Liddil. A 
man who lies without oath will lie under oath. 

Gentlemen of the jury, exhausted, physically, as I 
am,- in the stifling atmosphere of this crowded room, 
and weary, to impatience, as you must be, I can not 
leave this case without saying to you, and to the coun- 
try, that I had still another incentive in accepting the 
defense of this man. It was one sentence in the letter 
asking for my services. Its sentiment touched and 
entered my soul. It declared that the prisoner had but 
one object, one hope, which was to devote the remnant 
of his days to the state as a good citizen, and to earn 
for his wife and child an honest livelihood. 

I had heard of the little woman, spotless as the 
falling snow, whose youth, like the season it typifies, 
was "one crowded garland of rich and fragrant blos- 
soms, refreshing every eye with present beauty and fill- 
ing every heart with promised benefits ;" who, spurning 
the smiles of the world, gave to "the bold rider" her 
virgin heart, to cleave to him in shadow as in sunshine, 
in sorrow as in joy. And as I have witnessed how loy- 
ally she has kept her vow, how like a good angel she 
has attended him at rest or wandering, how closer she 
has drawn the cords of affection about him as the pelt- 
ing storms of vengeance and hate have pitilessly beaten 
about the iron doors and grated windows of his prison, 
I have felt that if I could utter a word that might give 
to this noble woman the man, unfettered, to whom she 

ipo Addresses to The Jury. 

so clings, it were an honor more to be coveted than 
offices and the praises of men. 

Before taking my seat, gentlemen, allow me to 
speak a word of warning and courage. I am mindful 
of how potential is that which we call public sentiment. 
Sometimes it is healthful and curative in the body pol- 
itic. Then again it is morbid and vicious. Sometimes 
it is honest, just and brave. And then, too often, it is 
hollow, rotten, ignorant and cowardly. You will be 
told, doubtless, by the ambitious, volunteer counsel 
who is to close this case for the state (Mr. Wallace) 
ostensibly, but w^ho is in quest of fame and popular 
applause, that the eyes of the country are on you ; that 
the good name of Missouri demands this man's life. 
For one I am glad of the opportunity to' say that I am 
sick unto disgust over the ceaseless maudlin twaddle 
about "poor old Missouri.'' It is the slogan of an 
unprincipled partisan press. It is the cant of hypocrites 
and the refrain of demagogues. 

I yield to no man in my attachment to Missouri. 
My people, of my blood, stood by its cradle when it 
it was born. With rifle they fought back the savage* 
trampeled down the wild brier and bull knettles, and 
blazed out the paths that have led to her present splen- 
did civilization. On her generous bosom I was cradeled. 
Her honor and glory are as dear to me as the memory 
of the sainted father aad mother who sleep beneath her 
sod. I am proud of the state, her peacefulness, her' 
laws, her patriotism. The most lawless and recreant 
men in the state are the miserable politicians and edit- 
ors who malign and slander her good name. I do not 

Addresses to The yiiry. 191 

think it necessary, in order to appease them, or the land 
agents, or the longhaired men and short haired women, 
who imagine themselves the satellites of higher civiliza- 
tion, to attend the star o£ empire in its westward flight, 
that one day out of every seven should be set aside by 
executive proclamation for the hanging of an old Mis- 

To convict this man because some town politician 
or public clamor demands it, would not only be coward- 
ice, but judicial murder. The men who cry out for the 
life of the so-called outlaw, no matter what the proof 
or the law, are themselves outlaws aud demons. No, 
gentlemen, this court house is the temple of justice. 
The voice of clamor, the breath of prejudice, must not 
enter here. You are sworn sentinels on guard at its 
portals. Do your duty. Stand, and stand forever on 
your oaths. Remember that after all the true heroes 
of this world are its moral heroes. The Aztec who 
can tear out his heart and fling it while still palpitating 
as an offering to his God, is simply an untaught barba- 
rian. The soldier who can march up to the cannon's 
mouth, the fireman who can mount his ladder wreathed 
in flames and go to the rescue of human life, exhibit 
splendid courage. But often this is mere physical 
courage. The man who can die for truth, or face 
the frowning, mad, unappeasible multitude, and stand 
immovable for the right, is grander and braver than all 

To uphold the law, and bring offenders to justice, 
is a most important duty of citizenship. That the higher 
tribute to the law is when court and jury can rise su- 

193 Addresses to The yury. 

perior to popular outcry, above the foul air of preju- 
dice and passion, standing calm and serene on the 
mountain heights of justice and mercy, declare that 
here, in this land, dedicated forever to law and human 
freedom, no man shall be convicted on rumor or sus- 
picion, but only on the evidence of lawful witnesses 
and according to the law of the land. 

Thus spoke our Anglo-Saxon ancestry six hundred 
years ago at Runnymede, when the Magna Carta itself 
was born. 

Freemen of Daviess county, let it not be said of 
your verdict that law and personal freedom have, in 
their march across the centuries, lost one atom of their 
vigor, or virtue, by being transplanted in American 
soil. Be brave and manly. If you err, let it be on the 
side of mercy. It is Godlike to be merciful ; it is hellish 
to be revengeful. "I will have mercy and not sacrifice," 
said the Saviour when on earth. Let your verdict be a 
loyal response to the evidence and the spirit of the law ; 
and as true manhood ever wins tribute, when the pas- 
sion of the day is past, and reason has asserted her do- 
minion, you will be honored and crowned. 

Counsel for defendant. 

Addresses to The Jury, 193 


May it f lease the Courts and you Gentlemen of the 

Appearing in this case as one of the prosecuting 
attorneys of our state, but in a county foreign to my 
own, I will not assume to use so holy a word as duty^ 
but simply say that it now becomes my province., to 
sum up the evidence for the prosecution, and to the 
best of my ability explain to you the law as declared by 
the court. You will be kind enough to accept at my 
hands the sincere thanks of the people of this great com- 
monwealth for the respectful attention you have given 
to all the details of so long a trial, and the fortitude 
with which you have borne the tremendous strain up- 
on your patience and your strength. Our friends up- 
on the other side have consumed over twelve hours 
in addressing you in behalf of their client; of which 
no complaint is made — it is right they should. The 
State has occupied about six hours, and I can only as- 
sure you that I will be as brief in the conclusion as the 
vast task committed to my charge will permit. 

It seems to have become the fashion in this cause 
for gentlemen to explain or apologize for their con- 
nection therewith, and some have gone so far as to deal 
in personal history, and to tell you beneath what ban- 
ner they drew the shining blade in the unfortunate 


194 Addresses to The Jury. 

"war between the states;" and to dwell at length up- 
on their attitude and feelings toward the defendant then 
and now. Raised in a homely way, gentlemen, I am 
not much of a hand at explanations and apologies, and 
do not feel, in fact, that justice is asking any from me. 
All I have to say is, that I am here first, by invitation 
from your excellent prosecutor, Mr. Hamilton ; and 
second, because I feel that an obligation exists between 
me and the law-abiding people of my county, that hav- 
ing from the very beginning borne an humble part in 
assisting to rid the fair state of the worst band of out- 
laws that ever cursed a commonwealth, I should remain 
true to my course to the end. As for the war I am 
truly thankful that I was too young to have received a 
scar either in body — or what is worse and more lasting 
— in mind. I can only say, gentlemen, that with the 
wondering eyes of a boy, just in his "teens," I saw 
enough to know and appreciate the motive of the coun- 
sel for the defendant in going outside of the law and 
the evidence to mention the "swords," and "flags," 
and "animosities" "of a cruel war" in a court of jus- 
tice — enough to know at least the tremendous sym- 
pathies and prejudices they would awaken in your 
breasts by bringing its horrid scenes afresh to your 
memories. I can only say, that on the border of our 
state, where the red lightning of murder played the 
fiercest along the western sky and the dogs of war were 
turned loose on defenseless women and children, I saw 
it all; when torch, and fire, and sword and rapine, and 
pillage, and plunder, and robbery, and murder, and 
jissassination were abroad in the land ; when sabred 

Addresses to The Jtiry, 195 

horsemen shot across the prairies and devouring flames 
leaped from farm to farm and house to house, until 
both earth and sky seemed ablaze with living horrors — 
I saw it all ; and like a vast panorama it rolls before me 
as I speak. I can only say, to quit a subject improperly 
interjected into this case, that when almost the last 
vestige of property was swept from our house, a gentle- 
man who wore the same epaulets that Col. Philips wore 
and fought beneath Col. Philip's "flag" issued a cruel 
order by which we were denied even the poor privilege 
of dwelling as paupers under the old family roof ; and 
with not enough of substance to provide against the 
storms and hunger of coming winter we turned our 
backs upon as fair a land as ever greeted the rising sun, to 
wander as outcasts and refugees in the world — and from 
that day to this unceasing labor has been my master, and 
ease, as a friend, buried in my youth. But this I know 
was the stern fate of war; and if there is to-day in this 
heart of mine the slightest feeling of hate or prejudice 
for any man, for anything that then occurred, as God 
is my judge I do not know it. And I sincerely trust, 
gentlemen, that wherever you may have been in that 
dark hour, or whatever may have been your experience, 
your regard for your oaths will now be such that all 
attempts to kindle in your hearts the hates of other 
days, will be hurled back by you as insults to your 
honor, your intelligence, and your conscience. As for 
me I am truly thankful for such an experience. I look 
up and thank my God that he led me through fire and 
flood, adversity and prosperity; for while it may not 
have made me a better man, it has certainly cast about 

196 Addresses to The Jury. 

me a rough armor, panoplied with which I care but 
little for the threats, and shafts, and storms of life. But 
enough of an issue buried twenty years ago and whose 
skeleton never should have been rattled in a court of 

Some of the attorneys for. the defense are loud 
and long in their complaints that your worthy prosecu- 
tor is assisted in this case. Compare, I pray you, 
gentlemen, the number and attainments of the counsel 
on either side, and see whether or not there is just 
cause for such complaint. Compare the plain men 
appearing for the state with the shining orators plead- 
ing the defendant's cause. And here you may catch 
at the outset a glimpse of their client's innocence, ac- 
cording to his own estimate. Innocence has a voice 
more tender and eloquent than that of any earthly 
orator, and yet he was unwilling that this voice should 
come to your ears through attorneys in ordinary num- 
bers and of ordinary ability. He first employs Mr. 
Rush, one of the most industrious and accomplished 
lawyers at your bar, that all matters of local import — 
such as the selection of the jury from the panel, the 
suggestion of such matters as would appeal to their 
sympathies, and so on — might be skillfully attended to. 
He then goes to St. Louis in his search and employs 
Mr. Glover, a young man whose opportunities have 
been such that he by himself should have been more 
than a match for your humble speaker, whose presence 
here has been so much criticised and bemoaned; a 
young man who has been reared in the very center of 
learning and refinement, in the midst of splendid 

Addresses to The Jury. 197 

libraries, and surrounded from childhood up by all the 
educational facilities that fond and prosperous parents 
in a great city could afford ; a young man whose at- 
tainments compare with mine as the star-decker 
firmament compares with a barren, uncultivated waste 
lying on the earth beneath. Still the defendant is not 
satisfied, and he employs General Garner, the grim 
old lion whose deep voice has been heard reverberating 
in all the courts up and down the Missouri Valley for 
thirty years or more, and beneath whose thunders I 
trembled when he turned upon me, for it is said he has 
been accustomed for a long time past to eat a 
young lawyer raw for breakfast whenever his appetite 
called for so delicate a dish. Still he is not content, 
and he crosses the river and comes to Independence, 
and my friend, James H. Slover, a lawyer of large ex- 
perience, somewhat young in appearance but Nestor- 
like, brave in battle, cool in judgment, and wise in 
counsel, is added to his list. 

Immaculate innocence still cries out for advocates, 
and John F. Philips is engaged; a man whose bell- 
tones have reverberated in the halls of the national 
congress, and whose reputation as both a civil and 
criminal lawyer extends throughout the west; a man 
who — to use Robert Emmet's figure — if all the inno- 
cent blood he has caused to go unavenged were col- 
lected in some vast reservoir, his lordship might swim 
in it. Still the defendant wants one more, and Charles 
'P. Johnson, an ex-lieutenant-governor of the state, 
[whose fame as a criminal lawyer is bounded only by 
le Mississippi on the east and the Rockies on the 

ipS Addresses to TJie Jury, 

west, is besought to come and plead his cause. He 
comes, as if looking to higher fields, to make the shin- 
ing final effort of his life, and show all the world how 
with skillful hand he could snatch the greatest of all 
criminals as "a brand from the burning;" comes as if 
for four short hours to exert his magic power in your 
court, and then — laughing at the foolish jury he left 
behind, return and enter the gates of his adopted city 
like a triumphant Achilles with the poor body of blind 
justice, Hector-like, bound by the cords of his elo- 
quence, 'and dead and dangling at his chariot wheels. 
Such, gentlemen, are the giants whom the prisoner 
has called forth to fight his battle with the law. I 
describe them one by one, that you may know and 
understand the tremendous forces that are about you, 
least unwittingly you be borne from the path of duty in 
the whirlwind of their eloquence and power. All 
during the trial you watched them as they grasped at 
straws, or placed their mighty forms in line in the vain 
attempt to stay back the resistless tide of evidence, as 
it came pouring in for the state. You gentlemen, are 
the twelve pillars upon whose shoulders, for the pres- 
ent at least, Missouri's temple of justice is made to 
rest, and you could not help but notice how these men 
in the final argument, like blind Samsons groping in 
the dark, reached out to find you, threw their brawny 
arms about you, and to secure a firmer hold, thrust 
their fingers into every niche and scar left upon you by 
the bullets of "a cruel war." Stand firm in your 
places as they press against you, lest you and they, the 
fair name of our state, and all that is nearest and dear- 

Addresses to The Jury. 199 

est to her people, perish in the ruin that ensues! So 
much for the attorneys. 

Who are the parties to be considered in this most 
important trial ? To come to an impartial and intelli- 
gent verdict it is well to bear them all in memory. 
The first one that presents himself to an unprejudiced 
mind is Frank McMillan, but it has been so long since 
you have heard his name that I almost feel like apolo- 
gizing for its mention. But it can do no harm — nor 
good. For two years has his voice been hushed in 
death; and even if I so desired, I could not now catch 
up the faintest echo of his dying shriek and sound it in 
your ears, pleading for pity fromyour hearts, or justice 
at your hands. He was a poor, innocent, insignificant 
stone mason, who, in the summer of i88i, with the 
pale blood oozing from his brain, was laid away to 
rest; and for days have the gifted attorneys of his 
"gallant" slayer tread above his ashes, with scarcely a 
whisper of his fameless name. The evidence shows 
that he, too, had a wife, plain, humble woman, no 
doubt, dependent upon his daily toil for the food she 
ate and the raiment she wore. Even now, while I 
speak with tattered garments and streaming eyes she 
may sit upon his tomb, trying to fathom that mysteri- 
ous Providence by which her stay in life lies slumbering 
ill the grave, whilst his murderer sits at his trial "the 
observed of all observers" — "the most remarkable 
man of the age." Let her sit there, gentlemen. We 
have not brought her here as is ofttimes done, in piteous 
disconsolate widowhood, to crave your sympathy. Let 
her sit there. Though her heart be as lonely as the 

200 Addresses to The Jury. 

grave-yard about her, and her hands as chilly as the 
rough, rock slab upon which she sits, we do not ask 
even the poor privilege of bringing her here, to warm 
for one moment the tips of her fingers at the glow of 
your hearts. 

The second and most prominent party in the case 
is the defendant himself. His attorneys, as if expect- 
ing a response in your breasts, have showered upon 
him the tenderest touches of pathos, and bestowed the 
highest encomiums on his life and character — one of 
them, Mr. Rush, boldly pronouncing him "one of the 
most remarkable men of the age." For myself, I 
have simply to say that I neither love, hate, pity, nor 
admire him. He is simply to be regarded as a full 
matured man of forty, to whom God has given more 
than ordinary intelligence, but who has set at naught 
the laws of his country, willfully and deliberately filled 
his pockets with the spoils of robbery, and bathed his 
hands in human blood. "One of the most remarkable 
men of the age!" In the name of all the Gods who 
sit on Mount Olympus, in a breath, remarkable for 
what? — charity? benevolence? self-abnegation? pro- 
found learning? business enterprise? inventive genius? 
patriotism? statesmanship? piety — what? I may not 
answer the question without departing from the record, 
and I leave it where it was suggested — in the distorted 
fancy of hard pressed attorneys. For fifteen years, 
they tell us, he has skillfully evaded the officers, the 
detectives, the lightning of the telegraph, and all the 
machinery of modern government; and now that at 
last he has been overcome, vengeance should be melted 

Addresses to The Jtiry, 20l 

into pity, and jurors should bend the knee and acquit 
him, regardless of law or evidence. 

Fifteen years for evasion, gentlemen, means fifteen 
years for deliberation, reflection, repentance, depart- 
ure to far-off climes, and that he is placed in his pres- 
ent predicament he has no one to blame but himself. 
According to the witness O'Neill, he considered long 
and well, whether it was safest to brave the dangers 
that beset him in the black night of barbarism, or, tak- 
ing his chances, with one leap place himself in the full 
day and blaze of civilization ; and if in the undertaking 
he perishes, as the night-bug perishes when it darts 
into the glare of the electric light, he has nobody to 
blame but himself. If after all these years spent with- 
out the walls, he suddenly resolves, as if he had done 
nothing, to pass in and enjoy the sweets of the Eden of 
civilized life, and the sentry angel who guards the 
entrance, seeing his garments dyed with blood, strikes 
him down with the flaming sword of justice as he 
passes, he has nobody to blame but himself. 

A third party, who, though not a party to the 
record, is touchingly presented to your view by oppos- 
ing counsel, is the defendant's wife. And while I 
may run contrary to the wishes of my associates and to 
the will of the good people of Daviess county — even 
should I run the risk of losing the case by so doing — I 
want to say, that I have in this prosecutor's heart of 
mine the profoundest sympathy for the defendant's 
wife. Accustomed all the year around to scenes like 
this, I have never yet seen the time, when a woman 
similarly situated did not have the tenderest pity of 

202 Addresses to The Jury. 

which I was capable. I am glad she is here, standing by 
her husband in his trial, and I am as willing you should 
extend to her your sympathies, as any attorney in the 
case. When the welcome day shall come and I shall 
cease to be a public prosecutor, I shall at least have 
learned, what I might never have learned, in purer 
spheres of life — and that is, that the truest, grandest, 
most unchanging thing beneath the stars, is a woman's 
love. Let a man once reign as king in the heart of a 
true woman, and she is blind to all his faults, or all his 
crimes. He may pillage, plunder, burn, rob; he may 
shed blood until he sits at his trial as a red-plumed 
murderer, and justice, and all the world look on and 
condemn, but she sees it not, and will ask to sit by him 
— and, as I have often known them to. plead with the 
jailer to go with him to his cell, to share his bread and 
water, and greet as sweetest music the screeching of 
his prison doors. Yes, true to the instincts of a 
woman's heart, even Frank James's wife clings to him, 
and I am glad she does. There is one reflection, how- 
ever, gentlemen, which in these cases, always comes 
home to a sworn officer, and I trust has already come 
home to you, as sworn jurors, in the discharge of pub- 
lic duty. I can better illustrate it than describe it. 
Husband and wife are gathering flowers on the brink 
of an awful precipice. The husband unmindful of the 
law of gravity, carelessly, to complete the comparison 
I will say, deliberately, steps beyond the line of safety, 
and in an instant is hurling downward. The wife may 
wring her hands and call on nature to stay her law, 
she may send after him the warmest, most loving tears, 

Addresses to The Jury. 203 

but they will never catch him ; nature with her law goes 
right on, and he is dashed in pieces on the rocks be- 
neath. A little child, just learning to control its body, 
is crawling about the floor; it gets hold of a dose of 
poison, secreted for another purpose, and swallows it; 
in a few moments it is in the throes of death. Loving 
father does what he can to save it; devoted sister tries 
to arouse it with tenderest kisses on its cheeks; heart 
stricken mother implores a God of mercy to change his 
law making poison poisonous, and save her child — but 
all to no avail ; the law of nature goes right on, and 
the infant is made a corpse. As in the physical world 
God has set in motion certain unchanging laws which 
have marched on without exception since the birth of 
time, so, and for greater reason, has he promulgated 
certain great laws in the moral world, which through- 
out the ages are to remain eternal, immutable, inviola- 
ble. One of these laws, as if to show its immutability, 
he wrote with his own finger in enduring marble, in the 
words, "Thou shalt not kill," and elsewhere added the 
penalty to be inflicted by human agency, "He that 
sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." 
A legislature I'epresenting a Christian civilization has 
taken that law and its penalty and embodied it in the 
statutes of the state of Missouri, and the court has 
declared it to you in these instructions. Frank James, 
as will appear when we come to the evidence, has will- 
fully and deliberately broken that law — the law of both 
God and man ; and while you may justly pity wife and 
child, immutable law should go right on. You can 
not on your sacred oaths do otherwise than inflict the 

204 Addresses to The Jui-y. 

penalty he so richly deserves. So much for the parties 
in the case. 

Hours are spent, gentlemen, in telling you this is 
a railroad prosecution. This, of course, is a direct 
appeal to the supposed prejudice of a jury of farmers 
against railroad corporations. So far as I am con- 
cerned I care nothing about the Rock Island Railroad 
Company, and represent it in no way whatever. If I 
have a relative or special friend on earth that ever had 
an interest in a railroad, or ever saw a railroad bond I 
do not know it. I paid my way over this road to your 
country, and expect to do the same on my return. A 
great ado is made about witnesses having passes. I 
proclaim publicly more than was proven — that I re- 
quested, obtained, and handed passes to witnesses. A 
railroad that would refuse to do as much to obtain wit- 
nesses from other states who would not advance their 
own expenses, after its conductor had been murdered 
at his post and the lives of passengers endangered, 
ought to have its charter revoked and its track torn up 
by an indignant people. But I say to you that I have 
nothing to do with any railroad in this case. If the 
Rock Island Railroad had bridged its way across some 
vast chasm in your county, deeper than an Ashtabula, 
and Frank James had stolen up and burned that bridge, 
and all the trains on all its lines, without the loss of 
life, had been hurled head-long therein, until the yawn- 
ing gulch was filled with hissing engines and crackling 
timbers, the railroad might look after its property. I 
would not be here to assist. Yes, if all the papers, 
records and bonds of all the railroads in the union were 

Addresses to The Jury. 205 

collected here in some great store-house, and, like the 
benighted "crank" who burned one of the greatest 
temples of antiquity in order to hand his name down 
the centuries, Frank James, with lighted torch, should 
come hither in the midnight and fire the mighty struc- 
ture, until the red flames reached through the clouds 
and on toward the stars — that would be a stupendous 
crime but the railroad might look after their property ; 
I should not stir one foot out of my county as a volun- 
teer in their behalf. Oh, no, gentlemen of the jury, this 
is not a prosecution for the protection of railroad prop- 
erty, and you know it. This is another skillful appeal 
to the demon of prejudice, and you know it. With 
admirable cunning they would point you to the magni- 
ficent cars, take you inside and show you the beautiful 
red varnish on the seats and sides, and say, "this is 
what this prosecution is meant to protect." But come 
with me to the rear end of the "smoker" ; behold the 
platform and steps and hard by the black soil of free 
Missouri, each painted red with the life blood of an 
immortal being, every drop of which is more precious 
than all the railroads in the word, and let me exclaim to 
you, "here is the only issue you are summoned to try." 
Did I say o;z/y issue? No, not the only one. If that 
were so, this would be but an ordinary trial for murder. 
But precious as is the life of an American citizen, there 
is a deeper, grander issue here than that. The suprem- 
acy of the laws of Missouri and the strength and 
dignity of her courts are at stake. Not only the life 
of a human being, but the very life of the law itself is 
put in issue in the eyes of the world. For fifteen 

2o6 Addresses to The Jury. 

years, it is boasted, has Frank James successfully con- 
tended with the officers, the exponents of the law ; and 
now with bold and uplifted front he comes of his own 
accord into a court of justice, throws down the gauntlet, 
and proposes to grapple with the law itself; and the 
question you are to decide is — which is the stronger in 
Missouri, the ar^n of the bandit or the artn of the 

Let us now look at the instructions, and then at 
the evidence. The assertion is ventured that no one of 
you has ever attended a trial in one of our courts, in 
which the counsel for the defense said so little about 
the instructions. They embody the "law" referred to 
in the solemn oath you took at the beginning of your 
labors. They are the sign-boards set up along the high- 
way of truth to guide you to a righteous verdict. The 
first instruction on .behalf of the state reads as follows: 

'■'■First. If the jury believe from the evidence 
that the defendant Frank James, in the month of July, 
iSSi, at the county of Daviess, in the state of Missouri, 
willfully, deliberately, premeditatedly and of his mal- 
ice aforethought, shot and killed Frank McMillan, or 
if the jury find that any other person then and there 
willfully, deliberately, premeditatedly, and of malice 
aforethought shot and killed said Frank McMillan, and 
that the defendant Frank James was present, then and 
there willfully, deliberately, premeditatedly, and of his 
malice aforethought aiding, abetting, or counseling 
such other person in so shooting and killing Frank Mc- 
Millan — then the jury ought to find the defendant guilty 
of murder in the first degree." 

You will see that this instruction is drawn in the 
alternative. If Frank James, with his own hand, in 

Addresses to The Jury. 207 

the manner described, shot and killed McMillan, he is 
guilty; or if "any other person" in the manner de- 
scribed shot and killed ISIcMillan, and Frank James 
was "present, aiding, abetting, or counseling" such 
other so to shoot and kill, then he is equally guilty, 
and right here on this instruction there has been a good 
deal of technical gimlet-boring, with a small gimlet, by 
the defense, in the vain effort to effect some small ap- 
erture through which the jury may creep, and let the 
defendant out of his predicament. It is contended that 
this is a trial for murder, not for robbery, and that in- 
asmuch as no eye-witness comes and swears that the 
defendant was the particular robber who fired the fatal 
shot — even granting he was there — he ought to be ac- 
quitted. This is what lawyers call a "glittering tech- 
nicality;" a plain, honest man would say the glittering 
dagger with which the heart of justice is too often 
stabbed in her own courts. Over against this hair- 
splitting reasoning let us set a very simple proposition. 
Let us stop up these gimlet-holes with the kind of stuff 
common sense is made of. Five men rob a train ; all 
five of them have navy pistols strapped to their persons, 
loaded and charged with powder and ball ; a man is 
killed in that robbery, and the human mind exclaims 
instinctively — they are guilty, every last single one 
of them. They came prepared to kill. They did kill. 
It is murder. By the evidence, in a distant state the 
horrible crime was concocted ; bent on plunder and 
death, they traveled a thousand miles to the scene of 
action; each man is loaded with extra rounds of car- 
tridges, and each knows that his companions are sirai- 


2o8 Addresses to The Jury. 

larly equipped ; they appear upon the horrid scene 
brandishing in their hands the implements of death, 
rubbed and burnished till they glisten in the lamp-light ; 
they shoot at forehead or heart of victim with the unerr- 
ing aim of an Indian at a tossed-up coin, and I will tell 
you, gentlemen — not to recur to this point again — it was 
murder in them all, damned and foul, and you can make 
nothing else out of it. 

Now you notice this first instruction says if defend- 
ant '■'•'willfully^ deliberately^ -pretneditatedly ^ and of his 
malice aforethought shot," etc. By these terms you 
are to understand that under our law, in all cases where 
a deadly weapon — such as a pistol or bowie-knife — is 
the means of death, and the killing is not connected 
with the commission of some other crime, there are 
four elements necessary to constitute murder in the 
first degree: first, willfulness; second, deliberation; 
third, premeditation; fourth, malice, or malice afore- 
thought. As our law proceeds on that known maxim 
of moral philosophy that no act has in itself any moral 
quality, but depends entirely upon the mind, or absence 
of mind, of the actor, as to whether it is to be considered 
with or without moral quality, these terms all apply to 
the mind or mental condition of the slayer at the time 
the act of killing is committed. Willfulness does no* 
mean stubbor?iess, doggedness, unreasonableness, as we 
understand it in common parlance. It means that the 
killing must come from intention, and not from acci- 
dent; that there is an intelligence back of the act pur- 
posing and intending its commission; to be explicit, 
that an intention exists in the brain of the man to do 

Addresses to The Jury. 209 

that which his hands are executing. Deliberation is a 
wider and more abstruse term than any of the others. 
In the language of one of our later decisions — copied 
by the court in this case — it means "in a cool state of 
the blood ; that is, not in sudden passion caused by a 
lawful provocation, or some just cause of provocation." 
As I take it, deliberation comes from the mental status 
in which the slayer considers and looks upon the deed 
at the time of its commission, and we are to view him 
in the light of all the attending circumstances. If at 
the time he does the deed his faculties are in their 
normal condition, and performing in proper degree their 
usual functions (or are distorted alone through his own 
fault at the time), and no cause extraneous to himself 
destroys the equilibrium, and he weighs and considers 
what he is doing, if only for a moment — deliberation 
exists, and the killing is murder in the first degree. If, 
on the other hand, causes extraneous to himself are at 
work, such as a slight blow giv.en to the person or 
words used so vile and insulting as to touch to the quick 
his pride of feeling, and thereupon that passion com- 
mon to us all, rages so like a storm in his breast that 
the voice of reason crying, "peace, be still," is un- 
heeded, and at the instant he kills his adversary, then 
the law in its humanity excuses, though it does not 
justifiy, and the homicide, in Missouri, is murder in 
the second degree, or manslaughter, as the provocation 
consisted in words or slight violence. But it is useless 
to attempt further explanation of this term, as the 
court has prevented any argument as to the existence 

2IO Addresses to The Jury, 

of deliberation, by the words "and the court instruct 
you that in this case there is no evidence tending to sho\ 
the existence of any such passion or provocation." Il 
is easy to understand what is meant by '■'■prcmcditai, 
tion.'^ Its import is in precise accord with its Latit 
derivation, meaning "thought of before." It is 
conclusion of the mind to do the act, antedating the ac 
(as of course it must) for any length of time, " how^ 
ever short." When the words "I'll kill him" have 
been uttered in the mind, premeditation exists ; and it^S' 
makes no difference whether the man is at the time in'* 
cool blood or in passion caused by a just provocation. 
Here you are able to distinguish a wide difference be- 
tween premeditation and deliberation ; the former may 
exist in both states — "cool blood" and the "passion" 
described ; the latter only in a cool state of the blood, 
unless, perchance, a man's blood "boils" from his owu 
viciousness, when the law makes no excuse for him 

Alalice, from malum^ meaning "badness" in the 
abstract, is here used to denote badness in the concrete, 
namely, a state of badness, in reference to human law, 
existing in the mind of a being responsible to that law. 
It does not mean spite, or ill-will, or hatred to any 
one as we usually understand it, but refers to a state of 
mind — a state of mind, as indicated, out of harmony 
with good government and the laws of the land ; such a 
state of mind as a man is in when he intentionally does 
what he knows to be wrong. That I have explained 
these terms correctly you can see from the reading of 

Addresses to The Jury, 21 1 

the second instruction, which is as follows — the court 
using adverbs where I have used the nouns, 

'■'■Second. The term "willfully," as used in these 
instructions means intentionally — that is, not accident- 

'■'■Deliberately means done in a cool state of blood, 
not in sudden passion engendered by a lawful or some 
just cause of provocation ; and the court instructs you 
that in this case there is no evidence tending to show the 
existence of any such passion or provocation. 

^'■Premeditatedly mQan?, thought of beforehand any 
length of time, however short. 

'■'■ Malice does not mean mere sj^ite or ill-will as 
understood in ordinary language, but it is here used to 
denote a condition of mind evidenced by the intentional 
doing of a wrongful act liable to endanger human life. 
It signifies such a state of mind or disposition as shows 
a heart regardless of social duty and fatally bent on 

'■'•Malice aforethottght means malice with pre- 
meditation, as before defined." 

The third instruction is given on the second or 
"robbery" count in the indictment, and is as follows: 

'■'■Third. If the jury believe from the evidence 
that defendant Frank James, with Wood Hite and 
Clarence Hite, or with any of them, and others, at the 
county of Daviess, in the state of Missouri, in the 
month of July, 18S1, made an assault upon one Charles 
Murray, and any money of any value then in the custody 
or under the care or control of said Murray, by force 
and violence to the person of said Charles Murray, or 
by putting hinl, the said Charles Murray, in fear of 
some immediate injury to his person, did rob, steal and 
carry away; and if the jury also believe from the 
evidence that defendant Frank James, in the perpetra- 
tion of such robbery, with malice aforethought, as 

212 Addresses to The Jury. 

before defined, willfully shot and killed Frank McMil- 
lan — then the jury ought to find the defendant guilty 
of murder in the first degree." 

This instruction needs but little explanation. It is 
the instruction in the light of which you are to view the 
whole evidence — as to robbery, killing, and all that 
transpired. You will perceive that by this you need 
not find the existence of either deliberation or pre- 
meditation. It is given in accordance with the law as 
it now stands in Missouri — that a homicide committed 
in the perpetration of a robbery is not necessarily murder 
in the first degree. If the killing is purely an accident, 
that is, is no part of the plan of the robbery, and not 
what the robbers should have known might be a 
natural result from the manner of their crime, then it is 
still murder, but not murder of the first degree. If, 
however, under this instruction, you simply find that 
the killing was done in the perpetration of a robbery, 
and willfully in malice, then you are bound to say in 
your verdict^ — it was murder in the first degree ; and to 
my way of thinking, common sense presumes in a rob- 
bery like ///z'^ that the perpetrators act willfully and in 
malice as to the whole transaction, A train robber, 
armed to the teeth, and knowing that death so often 
comes as a natural result from this class of crime, 
ought to be hung if his pistol explodes in its scabbard 
from spontaneous combustion, and kills an innocent 

The fourth instruction reads as follows: 

'■'•Fom-th. If you find from the evidence that the 
defendant, Frank James, at the county of Daviess, 

Addresses io The Jury. 213 

state of Missouri, in the month of July, 1881, shot and 
killed Frank McMillan, and that the act was done 
neither with the specific intent on the part of 
defendant to kill any particular person, nor in the per- 
petration of a robbery, yet if you further find that 
defendant was then and there recklessly, intentionally, 
and with malice firing with a deadly weapon, to-wit, a 
pistol, into or through certain cars of a railway train, 
containing a number of passengers, and those in 
charge thereof, and that while thus firing, said Frank 
McMillan, being on said train, was shot and killed by 
defendant — then you will find defendant guilty of 
murder in the second degree. Or should you find from 
the evidence that at the said time and place, said Mc- 
Millan was shot and killed by any person or persons 
whomsoever, and that such act was done neither with 
specific intent on the part of such person or persons to 
kill any particular person, nor in the perpetration of a 
robbery, yet if you further find that such person or 
persons were then and there, recklessly intentionally, 
and with malice, firing with a deadly weapon or 
weapons, to-wit, a pistol or pistols, into or through 
certain cars of a railway train containing a number of 
passengers, and those in charge thereof, and while thus 
firing said Frank MclVlillan being on said train, was 
shot and killed by such other or others, and that 
defendant was present then and there recklessly, inten- 
tionally, and with malice, aiding, abetting, assisting, 
and counseling such other or others, so to fire into or 
through said cars — then you will find defendant guilty 
of murder in the second degree." 

This instruction is given out of the abundance of 
the humanity of the law, and of the court declaring it. 
There is a class of cases of murder in the second degree in 
which the malice in the human heart does not assume any 
shape with reference to the specific act of killing. If I 

214 Addresses to The Jury, 

may so express it, when the poisonous soil of malice does 
not shoot forth a specific intent to kill the person slain or 
to kill any person at all. These cases occur when the 
slayer is recklessly and intentionally engaged in a 
wrongful act and one known to be dangerous to human 
life, and death is the result. Here the intent to do the 
wrongful act is taken away from the wrongful act, and 
by a law of substitution put over against the killing, 
and it is murder in the second degree. As where an 
unnatural mother, desiring to get rid of her child, but 
not quite heartless enough to destroy it with her own 
hands, leaves it m an orchard, and a kite kills it; or 
where the artisan, not caring whether he kills or not, 
rolls a stone from his wall into a crowded street, and a 
passer-by is slain ; or where a man recklessly and 
intentionally shoots in a crowd, and death ensues — in 
all these cases it is murder in the second degree. So 
in this case should you find the killing of McMillan was 
not a part or parcel of the robbery or of the regular 
plan ; that it was a kind of side play ; that the act was 
not done with specific intent to kill; that defendant 
was recklessly firing down the car to frighten the pas- 
sengers, not caring whether he killed or not, or was 
present comforting or aiding others so to do — then it is 
murder in the second degree, and you should so find in 
your verdict. 

'■'•Fifth. The jury are instructed that by the stat- 
utes of this state the defendant is a competent witness 
in his own behalf, but the fact that he is a witness, in 
his own behalf, may be considered by the jury in de- 
termining the credibility of his testimony." 

Addresses to The Jury, 215 

You have heard a great deal about the testimony 
of an accomplice, about the tremendous motive for 
such an one to commit perjury in his desire to escape 
the terrors of the law. What about Frank James's tes- 
timony? The court tells you he has a right to testify, 
but3'ou have a right to consider his situation. Is there 
any motive here for falsehood? His life is at stake, 
and he sits in the witness chair with the fearful picture 
of the gallows constantly before his eyes. If ever a 
man would swear falsely it is then. "But our client is 
a knightly, chivalric hero, who fears not the king of 
terrors," I hear them say. This sounds very well in 
talk or in yellow-back literature, but it is a known fact 
among officers, gentlemen, that men of the defendant's 
class do not differ from the ordinary run of humanity, 
and when their own time finally comes they are usually 
as timid as anybody. They may put on a bold exterior 
at their trial, but the heart within is trembling for its 
fate like an aspen leaf, and ofttimes, when convicted, 
and the dread hour arrives, they who have waded with- 
out a tremor through rivers of blood, shudder and 
break completely down ere the first ripple of theii own 
cold Lethe has touched their feet. 

'•'Sixth. The jury are further instructed that to 
the jury exclusively belongs the duty of weighing the 
evidence and determining the credibility of the wit- 
nesses. With that the court has absolutely nothing to 
do. The degree of credit due to a witness should be 
determined by his character and conduct, by his manner 
upon the stand, his relation to the controversy and to 
the parties — his hopes and his fears, his bias and im- 
partiality, the reasonableness or otherwise of the state- 

2i6 Addresses to The Jury. 

ments he makes — the strength or weakness of his recol- 
lection, viewed in the light of all the other testimony, 
facts, and circumstances in the case." 

This instruction is easily understood. Your atten- 
tion is now called to these words used in this instruc- 
tion: "The degree of credit due to a witness should be 
determined by his character and conduct, by his man- 
ner on the stand, his relation to the controversy and the 
parties." "Relation to the controversy and the par- 
ties ;" you remember the witnesses as to the defendant's 
alibi — brother-in-law, sister, brother, mother — no 

'■'■ Seventh. In considering what the defendant has 
said after the fatal shooting, and previous to the time of 
his testifying in this case, and with reference to any ma- 
terial matter in issue, the jury must consider it all 
together. The defendant is entitled to the benefit of 
what he said for himself, if true, as the state is to any- 
thing he said against himself in any conversation proved 
by the state. What he said against himself in any con- 
versation the law presumes to be true, because against 
himself ; but what he said for himself the jury are not 
bound to believe, because said in a conversation proved 
by the state. They may believe or disbelieve it as is 
shown to be true or false by all the evidence in the 

The rule of law contained in this instruction is 
based on the known selfishness of mankind. If a man 
who has done wrong can say anything in his own favor 
he is apt to do it — sometimes true, oftener, if his crime 
is great, it is false. What he knows against himself he 
is going to keep, unless the heart is so full and a guilty 
conscience gnaws with a tooth so sharp that he tells in 

Addresses to The Jury. 217 

spite of himself, and then the law presumes it to be true. 
If Frank James, just after the Winston robbery, said to 
Jesse James, "Why in the world did you kill that man; 
if I had thought there was going to be any blood shed 
I would never have gone into the affair," it was testi- 
mony manufactured in his own favor. Its absurdity, if 
nothing else, shows this. Frank James, who knew 
Jesse James better than any living man — Jesse James, 
whose victims, shot down in robbery, are sleeping 
throughout the Mississippi valley — Frank James 
"backs" Jesse James in the commission of a robbery, 
and when, as usual, a man is murdered, turns around 
and says: "If I had thought there was going to be 
any blood shed I never would have gone into the 
affair." As I have touched this bit of testimony 
somewhat out of my regular order, let us finsh it, lest I 
worry you with its repetition when I come to the evi- 
dence. It has nothing to do with the legitimate evi- 
dence in the case, any way, and has simply been lugged 
in here in the vain attempt to contradict DickLiddilby 
the governor of the state. You remember the whole 
of Governor Crittenden's testimony was, that just after 
Liddil's surrender he talked twice with him at Jefferson 
City, once when he came with Commissioner Craig, and 
once when he came with Sheriff Timberlake ; that in 
one of these conversations he said to Liddil, "Why was 
that innocent man on duty killed? and that Liddil re- 
plied that after the robbery was over he heard Frank 
say to Jesse, in Missouri, "Why in the world did you 
kill that man ? if I had thought there was going to be 
any blood shed I would have never gone into the 

2i8 Addresses to The Jury. 

affair." This is all of the governor's testimony. Lid- 
dil denies this, and I honestly think the governor has 
the matter a little mixed in the multitude of details 
given him by Liddil. But, admitting it is true, it has 
absolutely nothing to do with this case. "Why was that 
innocent man on duty killed?" That referred to con- 
ductor Westfall. McMillan was not on duty. The 
whole thing related to Westfall, killed by Jesse James, 
and not to McMillan, killed by Frank James, and for 
which he is now being tried. They do but one thing 
by the governor, and that is to show, indirectly, but un- 
mistakably, by their own witness, that Frank James 
was in Missouri in 1881, and participated in the Wins- 
ton robbery ; that Liddil told him so before Jesse was 
killed or Frank had given himself up, or there was any 
motive on earth presented for Liddil to tell a falsehood, 
his very life and liberty depending by the contract in 
such cases upon his telling the truth. 

'■'■ Eighth. The jury are instructed that the testi- 
mony of an accomplice in the crime for which the de- 
fendant is charged is admissible in evidence, and the 
degree of credit to be given to the testimony of such 
accomplice is a matter exclusively for the jury to deter- 
mine; the jury may convict on the testimony of an 
accomplice without any corroboration of his statements, 
but the- testimony of such accomplice as to matters 
material to the issue, if not corroborated by facts and 
circumstances in proof, should be received by the jury 
with great caution." 

This instruction will be read and discussed in con- 
nection with the evidence. 

'■'■Ninth. If the jury entertain a reasonable doubt 
as to defendant's guilt, they should find him not guilty, 

Addresses to The Jury. 219 

but to authorize an acquittal on the ground of doubt 
alone such doubt must be real and substantial, and not 
that there is a mere possibility that defendant may be 

"Well then," some juror exclaims, "if it all de- 
pends on a doubt ^ who can be convicted ? We have 
never seen anything, outside of mathematical demon- 
stration, proven with such certainty that every little 
doubt was swept from the mind. Why have we been 
kept here for three weeks if that instruction was to be 
given?" Such is the view that skillful attorneys would 
hare you take of the law in this behalf ; but if you will 
pause just a moment, you will observe the instruction 
uses something more than simply the word doubt. 
A man by searching may find in some remote corner of 
his mind a mere doubt as to most anything. In fact 
some of the greatest men of both ancient and modern 
-times have so puzzled themselves with the mysteries 
surrounding the existence of mind and matter that they 
lay it down as a cardinal principle in their philosophy, 
that "We know nothing beyond a doubt." They 
doubt if they really taste, feel, or see anything; doubt 
that there is a hereafter ; doubt the existence of a God ; 
doubt their own existence. But this is unreasonable; 
and were others than the eccentric to so reason, all 
laws and all civilization would soon crumble into dust. 
You will see the word "doubt," as used in the instruc- 
tion, is qualified and enlarged in meaning by two 
adjectives, so that the reading is "Such doubt must be 
real and substantial." This is done, doubtless, for the 
express purpose of curbing the play of fancy in a 

220 Addresses to The Jury. 

juror's mind. What is a "real and substantial" doubt? 
It is a doubt founded on law and reality, and not on 
fancy; it is a doubt founded on testimony and sub- 
stance, and not chased down and caught — you know not 
where nor how — by a winged imagination. You are 
all farmers, I am told. One of you i-s plowing in your 
field : a neighbor comes sauntering up to you, and 
when you stop he sits down on your plow-beam and 
says, "What are you plowing for?" If it is spring- 
time, you say for corn, or oats, as the case may be. 
But he says, "How do you know you are going to 
raise anything? I am in doubt this season, and have 
put my plow under the shed and turned my horses on 
the range." "Why," you say, "with rarest excep- 
tions, God has always made seed-time and harvest to 
come — the rains have descended and the sun has shown 
— and with the great bulk of evidence in my favor, I 
will plow on and raise my crop." "Sometimes they 
miss," he exclaims — "I doubt it, I doubt it." This, 
gentlemen, is an unreasonable, unsubstantial doubt. 
The man went out of the great weight of evidence to get 
it. If you acted similarly, you and yours would starve. 
So, in this case, you can easily adopt different rules 
from those you are governed by in the ordinary affairs 
of life, and shutting your eyes to the great bulk of the 
evidence, send out Fancy — fleeter than a swift-winged 
Mercury — and she will doubtless bring you back a 
doubt. But this will not do; it must come from the 
testimony as a whole, and be real and substantial, to 
authorize an acquittal. 

Addresses to The Jury. 221 

^'' Tenth. If the jury find the defendant guilty of 
murder in the first degree, they will simply so state in 
their verdict, and leave the punishment to be fixed by 
the court. 

"If they find the defendant guilty of murder in the 
^second degree, they will so state in their verdict, and 
will also assess the punishment at imprisonment in the 
penitentiary for such term, not less than ten years, as 
the jury may believe proper under the evidence. 

When an instruction like this is read, a juror may 
say, "There, then, the whole thing rests with me; my 
God, I don't want to convict anybody; I don't want to 
deprive any human being of life or liberty — and the 
whole thing rests right on me." This is what skillful 
attorneys would have you believe ; but it does not all 
rest on you, any more than it all rests on the grand jury 
who returned the indictment, or the judge who received 
it, or the clerk who recorded it, or the prosecuting 
attorney, who signed it. You are simply a part of the 
criminal machinery to pass upon the facts. If you find 
the fact to be that the defendant is guilty, the law 
inflicts the punishment, and is responsible for it, not 
you. The judge pronounces the sentence ; but not he, 
nor the jury, but a wise and just law coming to us from 
our ancestors, and from God himself to man, carries 
that sentence into execution. This ends the instructions 
for the state. 


Having looked at the law, let us now examine the 
evidence of the witnesses. In doing this, gentlemen, 
you will excuse me, and take it as no reflection upon 

222 Addresses to The Jury. 

any one else, when I say that, without skipping about 
here and there, seemingly for confusion's sake, I will 
give you in substance all of the testimony of all the wit- 
nesses, and as nearly as practicable in the precise order 
in which it fell from their lips. To save time I shall 
use no notes; in fact, I took none. But I believe I know 
the testimony, and can give it to you correctly from 
memory by the aid of a list of the witnesses. You will 
excuse me too, if I speak plainly as I go along, calling 
things by their right names, for I was raised in the same 
wild west with these men whose exploits we have been 
considering, and I strive to talk as they shot — right to 
the mark. 

What is the evidence in this most important case.'' 
As the sun is setting in the west, on the fifteenth day 
of July, 1 88 1, we see a passenger train rolling slowly 
under the vast shedway at the Union Depot in Kansas 
City, Missouri, and its -engine takes its place by the 
side of half a dozen or more of others, each panting 
like so many horses ready for the race. To me, gentle- 
men, there is something sublime about a locomotive 
engine; I can look at it and admire it, even if it does 
belong to a rich corporation, and I have no interest in 
it. Thank God, in the great realm of vision, we are 
equally wealthy. Rolling rivers, towering mountains, 
outstretching plains, bending skies, as well as the splen- 
did specimens of human skill that fret our public 
streams and highways, are all in the realm of vision the 
property of rich and poor alike. Yes, what a glorious 
structure is a railroad engine, what a giant-like tribute 
to man's inventive genius; how like a thing of life with 

Addresses to The Jury. 223 

vast, pulsating heart, it seems "to live, and move, and 
have its being." When like the queen of commerce it 
comes gliding along, with gorgeous, resplendent coaches 
for its train, how the law-abiding soul — with never a 
dream of stopping it in search of plunder — delights to 
see it speed on, in magnificent splendor and sublimest 
power. Many a time, a few years since, while loiter- 
ing about Kansas City, as young lawyers do, have I 
stood upon the bluffs and watched the trains as they 
came in and went out; watched them just at night-fall, 
when they were all departing for the east; watched 
them as, hurling down the river bottom, with resound- 
ing whistle, rolling smoke, and white, streaming steam, 
they plunged into the tunnel of the night, and were seen 
no more. 

So the ill-fated Rock Island train departed on 
July 15, 1 88 1 ; so it sped on like a meteor through the 
darkness until it reached the prairies of your own 
county. What a splendid spectacle is presented by an 
approaching train on a western prairie in the night- 
time! I see that train coming up to Winston now, 
with its beaming headlight, now partly obscured in a 
cut, now out, trembling along like a rolling, radiant 
ball of fire. Yes, yes, gentlemen, I see that train 
speeding across the prairies of your own free Missouri, 
where the protecting agis of the law is spread over 
every head, and we boast that life, liberty, and the pur- 
suit of happiness is guaranteed to every human being 
within her borders. I hear the rails clicking by the 
platform ; I see the white steam rise ; the whistle sounds 
out on the pure country air, and in a moment the train 

224 Addresses to The Jury. 

is standing at the depot in the town of Winston. Frank 
James was there to meet that train, gentlemen. Just 
as surely was he there, as that he is here to-day. Just 
as surely was he there as that the village was there — as 
that Westfall and McMillan were there. Just as surely 
was he there, as that the All-seeing Eye was there, 
looking down into the foul intention that dwelt in his 
heart. Let us look a moment at his surroundings, for 
here we may get a glimpse at the superb innocence of 
the "remarkable" hero now on trial. It is said that 
when a man contemplates doing a wicked deed, if he 
will look at some splendid painting or upon some scene 
where nature with her brush has eclipsed all human 
genius, his vile thoughts may all be taken away. Look 
at his surroundings on this fatal night. There stands a 
magnificent train, known to him to be laded with 
precious immortal beings whose life he is about to 
hazard. Perchance the mother is there, returning from 
a visit to her children in the west, or the boy going 
east to bid farewell to a dying parent. Innocent little 
children, unborn when civil war brought the defendant 
his much-talked-of "grievance," are there, with tiny 
hands against the window glass, and eyes peering out, 
asking his pity and protection. The pure, free atmos- 
phere of his native state is about him. The smoke of 
the standing engine is towering upward, and as his 
eyes follow it they meet the tender light from a myriad 
of twinkling stars, each whispering to him with a silver 
tongue, pleading with him, as if to woo and win him 
from his awful purpose. 

Addresses to The yury. 225 

But it is all to no avail. Frank McMillan, old 
man McMillan, his father and the two Penns — all 
laborers in a stone-quarry hard by — have gotten into 
the smoking car. Conductor Westfall, little knowing 
the sad fate impending, waves his lantern for the last 
time. The bell rings. The train starts. The robbers 
get aboard. The fiendish work begins. I am going 
now by the evidence — no fancy. Dick Liddil and 
Clarence Hite climb upon the tender to take charge of 
the engineer and firemen. Jesse James, Frank James, 
and Wood Hite rush into the smoking-car from the 
front door; one of them — as seen by the witness Maj. 
McGee, a most intelligent gentleman, and at present 
United States Marshal — cuts the bell-rope, and doubt- 
less in doing so gives the signal at the engine which 
causes the train to stop; but it at once starts up again. 
"The two tall men," as the witness Penn calls them, 
come right up to conductor Westfall, at this time en- 
gaged in putting "tabs" in the hats of Penn and his 
companions, saying "up, up," or "down, down," the 
witness, affrighted and thunderstruck with the tragedy 
of double murder, can not say which. Westfall, see- 
ing death was lurking, "made some motion thus," as 
Penn put it; he can not say for what. I believe to de- 
fend himself, as duty and God bade him do. Just at 
that instant "the big tall man" — all admit now Jesse 
James — quick as a tiger for his victim, pulls the cruel 
trigger, and Westfall goes reeling down the aisle to the 
rear end of the car; as he goes the firing at him is con- 
tinued. He opens the door, struggles out, and falls 

226 Addresses to The Jury. 


dead from the train ; dead in the harness ! dead on 

That was a magnificent specimen of oratory w ith 
which Gov. Johnson closed his argument yesterday 
evening. He said, you remember, that once in the 
city of St. Louis he stood watching a five-story build- 
ing wrapped in flames. In one of the upper windows 
stood a man, with the red flames leaping around him, 
and apparently no means of escape whilst his wife be- 
low was watching with eager and loving eyes for some 
kind hand to snatch him from the devouring fires and 
bear him to her arms, till at length a heroic fireman 
brought joy to her heart by undertaking and performing 
the noble feat. I could not help however, gentlemen, 
but think of something real, and directly connected 
with this case, as the Governor drew his picture ; I 
could not help but think of poor Westfall, reeling there 
in the railway car, enveloped in the smoke of burning 
powder, and wrapped about with the red-hot flashes 
from cracking revolvers — he himself being on fire, the 
red flames of life bursting through the windows made in 
his body with cruel bullets ; I could not help but 
think of the devoted wife who stood in her door-way 
on that fatal night, waiting to give the welcome kiss to 
her husband when his "run" was ended and he re- 
turned to his home. Alas! she is waiting still. 

We are not through with the scene at the train yet. 
Westfall has fallen, but the murderous fire still con- 
tinues. Now it is contended "it was not intentional," 
*'we do not know the particular man who did it," and 
so on. It makes no difference, you know from the 

Addresses to The Jury. 227 

evidence Frank James did it; but if you did not, you 
would know that one of the band he belonged to — bent 
on robbery and murder — did it, and that is enough. 
According to Penn and Major McGee, these men fol- 
lowed Westfall up, and after he had tumbled from the 
rear end of the "smoker," they go back again to the 
front of the "smoker" and out of the door. Penn and 
Frank McMillan now get up, and in search of a safer 
place go to the rear platform of the "smoker," and 
take seats on the steps. "One of the tall men" remains 
on the front platform of this "smoker" firing "as 
many as six shots straight through the train," crying, 
"down, down." This was doubtless done to keep 
the passengers from interfering. Penn gets up and 
looks through the rear door, and one of these shots 
hurls the shattered glass against his hand. Presently 
a voice, as if from one in distress, is heard in the 
"smoker." Frank McMillan, sitting on the rear steps, 
says, "That's father's voice." Oh, I think, gentle- 
men, I know myself how he knew that voice, even in 
the din of rattling train and belching pistols. It was the 
staid, familiar voice that through all the happy days of 
childhood he had heard under the old home-roof; the 
voice that many a time had called him up to his work 
at break of day — to the country lad, glorious break of 
day when rosy-fingered Aurora, sweet dispenser of the 
morning dew, came dashing in her fiery chariot across 
the eastern hills, and a thousand birds were twittering 
greetings to her in the trees. "That's father's voice!" 
and he bounded to the door, and death met him as he 
he came. The whizzing ball of the idle, roving as- 

228 Addresses to The Jury, 

sassin meets the sweated brow of hard-working Frank 
McMillan, he falls dead from the train, and the soil of 
free Missouri drinks up his honest blood. "Oh, he 
is but a poor laborer," I hear them say; "what is his 
life when measured with the precious existence of a 
daring, chivalric hero? Gentlemen, VAhen the Almighty 
God of the universe came into the world, and took 
upon himself the form of a man, he paid such a compli- 
ment lo the dignity of labor that he became himself a 
carpenter, and for years there stood upon His brow, as 
upon poor McMillan's, the sweat of honest toil. 
Much has been said to induce you to think this is a 
prosecution backed by corporations in the interest of 
capital ; but I tell you it was not cafital^ it was labor 
that was foully murdered when Frank James's ball 
went crashing through the brain of the humble stone- 
mason at Winston. 

Thus ended the killing at the robliery. I have 
scarcely mentioned those whose hearts were made to 
bleed the most. Hours have been spent here in pa- 
thetic rhetoric about the defendant's wife, his child, 
his mother, his sister, and all thought to be near and 
dear to him. The wives and children of our sleeping 
dead have been left in the background. This is no 
place for such issues. I G«uld not depict the anguish 
of the widow whose heart is withered with the purple 
blast of murder, nor the wail of the orphan, that, for 
aught we know, may cry for bread ; and I would not 
if I could. In cases like this the anguish of the dying 
and the dead is far less than that of the beloved living left 
behind, and I could only feeby imitate the example of 

Addresses to The Jury. 229 

a painter of ancient times, of whom I have somewhere 
read. Agamemnon, a noble chieftain of the Grecian 
forces, was at last captured, together with his family, 
by his enemies. They studied long how they might 
contrive to torture him the most. At last discovering 
that he had an only daughter, a girl of extreme beauty, 
whom he seemed to love far better than he loved him- 
self, they brought her forth and put her to death by 
slow torture, compelling the brave old warior to look 
upon the fearful scene. A great painter came to the 
frightful scene to put it on canvas, especially the 
horror that sat on the father's countenance, and to 
hand, with his picture, his name and his genius down 
the ages. He drew the crowd, torturers and all, just 
as they stood ; he painted the suffering girl with the 
flush of death on her cheek, with matchless perfection ; 
but when he came to the father, standing in grim, 
silent agony, his genius failed him, and he simply drew 
a veil over the face, in confession of; his inability to 
depict the horror that sat within. So all I can do in 
this case is to place Mrs. Westfall here to my right, 
clad in mourning, with a thick black veil hiding the 
saddened face; and Mrs. McMillan here to my left, 
similarly attired ; and the little children hiding their 
faces in the folds of their mothers' dresses — and let me 
say, these^ Colonel Philips, are the trophies of your 
kind of chivalry. 

By the Court. Gentlemen, this is a court of 
justice. Mr. Sheiiff, you must stop this applause. 

Sheriff. Gentlemen, all this noise must be 
stopped; I say all this noise must be stopped right 
now ; you are in court. 

230 Addresses to The Jury. 

By the Court. Now I want to say to this intel- 
ligent audience that this applause must not be repeated. 
If so, the sheriff will clear the room. Proceed, Mr. 

Mr. Wallace. Gentlemen of the jury, lajrtng 
aside everything that savors of feeling, what is the 
plain, unvarnished evidence before you? What are 
the dry facts ^ to which, without the least appeal to 
passion, I now promise to confine my remarks. Who 
committed this double, dastardly, diabolical murder.? 
If Frank James was at Winston, away with your 
knighthood, away with exclaiming "who fired this 
shot," or "who that;" away with technicalities, for 
justice cries out with a thousand voices, "If he was 
there he is guilty." If he, who publicly trod the 
streets of Nashville for four years, was in Texas in his 
sister's "cellar," or "upstairs," so that not even a 
neighboring cow-boy might see him, he is innocent. 
If present he is bound to be guilty of murder in the 
first or second degree ; and the whole case turns on the 
question — was he at Winston or was he in Texas? 

The testimony is absolutely overwhelming that 
there were five men in that robbery, and that this 
defendant is the fifth man. It was confessed from the 
outset that Jesse James, Dick Liddil, and the two 
Hites, were in this robbery, and for four days they pro- 
ceeded here on the confession that there was a fifth 
man there; and you saw them vainly striving to show 
this fifth man was Jim Cummings, and not this defend- 
ant. Right in the midst of the trial, for sheer neces- 
sity, the "four-men theory" — an insult to your intelli- 

Addresses to The Jury. 231 

gence — was concocted ; and the case has been argued 
to you, by those who did not argue mostly from "flags" 
and "swords," on that hypothesis. Let us examine 
the "four-men" dodge. A moment's analysis of the 
testimony shows its absurdity. The evidence is four- 
fold that there were five men: First, the five horses 
ridden are unmistakably described; second, five men 
are unmistakably described; third, five men were seen 
about sundown near the scene of the robbery ; fourth, 
five men are seen and counted at the robbery. First 
as to the horses, — 

No. I, big bay gelding, heavy mane and tail, 
about sixteen hands high, described by a number of 
the witnesses who saw these men. No man who had 
been on a farm two months could mistake him for any 
of the other four. This horse Jesse James rode ; John 
Samuels, his brother, owned him, and tells you Jesse 
v/as riding him that summer. 

No. 2, a little bay horse (gelding), stolen by 
Frank James and Liddil, in Ray county, and described 
exactly by a number of local witnesses. This was 
Wood Kite's horse. 

No. 3, a sorrel gelding, about fifteen and a half 
hands high, ordinary mane and tale, collar-marks, no 
blaze in face, described by a number of local witnesses. 
This was the Lamartine Hudspeth's horse, ridden by 
Dick Liddil. 

No. 4, a tall sorrel, stolen from the witness Mat- 
thews, most noticeable of all, blaze face, light mane 
and tail, white hind feet, sixteen hands high, described 
by a number of local witnesses. This was Clarence 
Kite's horse. 

232 Addresses to The Jury. 

No. 5, a little, light-bay mare, stolen by Frank 
James and Liddil in Ray county, described by a num- 
ber of local witnesses ; shod by Potts, who identifies 
her in Timberlake's hands, at Liberty, and she is 
returned to her owner in Ray county. This horse was 
ridden by Frank James to Winston. 

Here are five horses traced by local witnesses to 
and from this robbery, all totally unlike. Any man 
on this jury hunting" stolen horses could trace them, by 
description, through the country: First, big bay 
gelding; second, little bay gelding; third, ordinary 
sorrel gelding, no blazed face; fourth, big sorrel geld- 
ing, blazed face, light-colored mane and tail, and 
white hind feet; fifth, little light-bay mare. Who 
rode the fifth horse? — a myth? a Will-o'-the-wisp? 
while Frank James was in his sister's cellar? 

2d. Five men are unmistakably described by the 
witnesses, — 

No. I. Tall man, heavy, erect, high cheek-bones 
and broad across face, darkish whiskers all over his 
face, dark hair, good talker; described in the same 
way by Mrs. Hite, the Brays, Wolfinbergers, and 
others. This was Jesse James. 

No. 2. Man about thirty, average height, stoop- 
shoulders, light-complexioned, inclined to heavy build, 
not much whiskers, very slouchy, said but little ; thus 
described by Mrs. Hite and a number of your local 
witnesses. This was Wood Hite. 

No. 3. Man about thirty, dark-complexioned, 
with dark hair, dark whiskers, short and all over face, 
average build and weight. This you can see your- 
selves was Dick Liddil. 

Addresses to The Jury. 233 

No. 4. Tall, slender, light-complexioned fellow 
of about twenty, front teeth bad and prominent, little 
fuzzy whiskers; thus described by Mrs. fiite and a 
number of local witnessess. This was Clarence Hite. 

No. 5. Tall, slender man from thirty-five to 
forty, light-complexioned, wore lightish "burnside 
whiskers," intelligent, good talker, neat in dress; 
described in the same way by the Tennessee witnesses, 
and local witnesses to some of whom he talked about 
Ingersoll and "spouted" Shakespeare. This was the 
"remarkable" man on trial. 

3d. Just before the robbery five men were seen 
near the scene of the robbery, — 

Ezra Soule, near sundown, comes upon two of 
them in^the woods. One of them, he testifies, posi- 
tively was Frank James, and the other he describes as 
"a tall young fellow, fuzz on his face, big bad teeth" — 
Clarence Hite, beyond question. Just about this time, 
at early supper, two men are at Mrs. Montgomery's, 
close by. The family are here, and described them : 
"One a tall, heavy-set, independent fellow, whiskers 
tolerably long all over his face, darkish, ate with his 
baton" — Jesse James; "the other ordinary size, or- 
dinary looking, light-complexion, did no talking" — 
Wood Hite beyond question; "both rode bay horses." 
Bad-tooth Clarence, with his blazed-face sorrel, was 
not there, gentlemen, nor was slender, polite, 
"burnsides" Frank. No witness yet brings in "ordi- 
nary-sized." Dick Liddill, dark complexion, short 
whiskers all over his face; but Mrs. Kindig and her 
daughter are put on the stand, and testify that such a 

234 Addresses to The Jury. 

man ate dinner at their house on the day of the rob- 
bery, by himself, being on horseback ; and they swear 
positively that Dick Liddil, whom they see at this trial, 
is the man. Here, then, are the five men seen in the 
neighborhood just before the robbery. Everything 
hangs together in this case. Watch as I proceed, and 
see if it does not. The eternal consistency of truth is 
seen at every step from Nashville to Winston. 
4th. Five men are seen at the robbery, — 
My friend, Mr. Slover, may fly around in his ar- 
gument like a feather in a whirlwind, trying to account 
for the fifth man by making an omnipresent being out 
of Clarence Hite, and placing him on the engine, in the 
"smoker," on the ground, or in the express-car, all at 
the same instant; but with fair men it will not do. If, 
like a wonder-worker, he can deceive you with such 
legerdemain as that — I am charging nothing improper, 
let a defending lawyer ply his skill — we may as well 
give up the case. Mr. John M. Glover, you remem- 
ber, went through the same sleight-of-hand performance 
by a totally different method. With him, Wood Hite 
was the everywhere present robber, that by the magic 
wave of Mr. Glover's wand would flit unseen, from 
car to car, like the mystic egg, from hat to hat. Now, 
the five men robbed this train is as clear, from the evi- 
dence, as the shining sun. The train stopped three 
times; first, within twenty yards of the depot; second, 
three or four hundred yards from town ; last, a mile or 
more from town. Bear in mind, both men are killed 
between the first and second stops, while the train is in 
motion. Maj, McGee says: "Three men entered the 

Addresses to The Jury. 235 

smoking-car. I am positive." "One at once cut the 
bell-rope." Penn is positive, also, that three men 
entered. As the train is moving, after the first 
stop, the firing commences — all the men being in the 
car by the positive testimony of three witnesses. The 
engineer testifies that just as he was starting up after 
the first stop (three robbers being in the *'smoker,") 
"two men came over the tender, with revolvers, into 
the cab." Two and three make five. The engineer 
is futher positive "that these two men were both of 
them all the time on the engine from the time they first 
came until he left the engine," just as the robbery was 
ending. The point at which he left the engine was 
beyond where both dead men had been found on the 
ground. Thus he swears that two men were on the 
engine during the identical time the three men were in 
the "smoker." Again, by the testimony of the bag- 
gage-man and express messenger, both being in the 
same car, no man passed through the baggage-car, and 
they knew nothing of the robbery until the robbers ap- 
peared at the side door of their car, on the ground, 
which was at the second stop, and after the killing. 
How, then, could Clarence Hite get from the engine 
and back into the "smoker" to be counted as one of 
the three, the train being rapidly in motion, without 
passing through the express-car? If he did, how did 
he catch up and get back on the engine again? for the 
engineer says, as the engine halted at this second stop, 
these two were still there, and made him go on ; in 
fact, he says, had been there all the time, right by him. 
Again, just while two men are ordering the engineer 

236 Addresses to The Jury. 

to go ahead, three men are at the express-car door, two 
get in, the express messenger says, one stays by the 
baggage-man (pulled out on the ground), as the train 
moves off again, as the baggage-man says ; and still 
the two, according to the engineer, are on his engine, 
and are there when he leaves it, some distance beyond. 
It is too plain, gentlemen, for further argument. To 
make you believe there were only four men on " that 
train is to make you believe you can not count five. 

How have the defense acted on this point } Have 
they made an honest defense from the outset, treating 
you as honest and intelligent men on oath ? I say they 
have not. Knowing the evidence showed five men in 
this robbery, they deliberately tried for four days be- 
fore you to put Jim Cummings in as the fifth man. Did 
they not do this ? i88i is the year of this crime; and, 
you remember, during the first part of the trial, when 
old man Ford, by a lapsus linguae^ said he saw Jiin 
Cummings in the fall of iSSi, how they rolled it as a 
sweet morsel under their tongues, and what a fight was 
made against letting the old man correct his mistake by 
saying he meant 1880. You remember, when John 
Samuels was put on the stand, that he was asked: 
"Please give the names of all the men at your mother's 
in the summer of 1881 ?" aud he answered, "Jesse 
James, Dick Liddil, Wood Hite, Clarence Hite, and 
after the Winston robbery, Charlie Ford." "Were 
these all ; please name them over again .?" arid he 
named them precisely as at first. Then came the sug- 
gestive question. "Did you see Jim Cummings in the 
summer of i88i .?" Answer; "Yes, sir; he was 

Addresses to The Jury. 237 

there with the others several times." Mrs. Samuels 
was put on the stand, and she was asked to give the 
names ; and she did it just as John did, exactly. 
"Please repeat them all?" — and she gave the same 
names again, leaving out Cummings. And then the 
suggestive question was asked, and answered as John 
had answered it. A direct, persistent at- 
tempt to put Cummings in this robbery ; and then 
they would have argued, "Cummings was the man all 
these good witnesses took to be Frank James." But 
their plans are suddenly thwarted. Frank O'Neill, 
the correspondent of the St. Louis Republican^ who 
had a long interview with the defendant just before his 
"surrender," testifies that in that interview the defend- 
ant described Cummings as an illiterate, indolent fellow, 
and mocked his long drawl in talking, which I had 

O'Neill to reproduce: "There — now — that — d — d 

Frank James — has — gone — and told — on me," etc. 
The defense could go no further. To claim this igno- 
rant drawler and the smooth repeater of Shakespeare 
and adroit discourser on Ingersoll were one and the 
same person was too absurd, even for this case ; and 
right in the midst of the river they change horses, and 
the question is asked. "Was not Wood Hite very 
much like his cousin Frank?" and they all answer 
"z'ery inuch.^^ Is this the way to make a sincere bona 
^de deiense? I blame not my professional brothers, 
but venture that in the history of criminal trials never 
was an honest jury so grossly trifled with. General 
Garner is one of those ponderous bodies, which, when 
well under headway, it takes time to stop ; and so thor- 


238 Addresses to The Jury. 

oughly had he gotten started on the Jim Cummings 
theory that he clung to it for sometime in his speech, 
but finally came around all right. 

But let us go deeper into the evidence. The guilt 
of the defendant becomes more apparent as we examine 
the motives and plans leading up to the crime. In Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, in March, 1881, four men are dwell- 
ing together under the same roof. They are seemingly 
quiet citizens, but in reality are a band of outlaws, each 
passing under an alias. Frank James has been about 
Nashville for more than three years, has a wife and one 
child; and is known as B. J. Woodson; Jesse James 
is better known than his brother, has a wife and two 
children, and passes as J. D. Howard. Dick Liddil is 
living with them, known as Mr. Smith. Bill Ryan is 
also there, known as Tom Hill. These facts you have 
learned from the testimony of W. L. Earthman, back- 
tax collector at Nashville ; James Moffat, depot-master 
at the Louisville and Nashville depot; Messrs, Horn, 
Sloan, and others. "Much obliged to you for this evi- 
dence," say our friends on the other side, "it shows our 
client wanted to lead an upright life, and was living as 
an industrious citizen in Tennessee. Yes, I reply, and 
it shows as much for Jesse James, whom you, your- 
selves, have held up as a monster in crime. It shows 
that Dick Liddil and Bill Ryan, so far as outward ap- 
pearances went, led quiet and honorable lives in Nash- 
ville, Tennessee. 

A curious incident caused this band to flee from 
Nashville. Bill Ryan, on March 26, 1881, mounted 
on a splendid steed, as you remember by Earthman'^ 

Addresses to The Jury, 239 

testimony, was traveling north, and when at a country 
store, some eight miles from Nashville, became intoxi- 
cated, flourished his pistols, said his name was Tom 
Hill, and that he was a desperado and an outlaw, and 
tried to kill Earthman, who was then a justice of the 
peace. He was arrested on the spot — having besides 
his arms, a buckskin sacque next to his person, con- 
taining about $1,300 in gold — and was lodged in jail at 
Nashville, charged with assault with intent to kill. An 
evening paper contained a description of the 
man arrested, and the remainder of the gang made 
their flight the ensuing night. Frank James mounts a 
horse, stolen, though not by him, from Mr. 
Duvall, of Ray county, Missouri, and since recov- 
ered by the owner, as he told you, in Nelson county, 
Kentucky. Jesse and Dick steal horse flesh on 
the commons of Nashville ; and when this is exhausted, 
two more are stolen as the three pass their 
rapid retreat to old man Hite's, the uncle of the 
Jameses, who lived some fifty miles north of Nashville, 
in Logan county, Kentucky, Frank James tells you 
from the stand — Mrs. Hite and her father were here, 
and he could not deny it — that he made this trip, but 
he was not a member of the gang, and did not want to 
go along. Oh, no ! did not want to go ; but the fact 
is, that with the four points of the compass and the 
wide world all about him, he did go. He wanted to 
go, gentlemen, and at every jump of his steed he cried 
out to the others as did Ruth to Naomi, "Entreat me 
not to leave thee, or to return from following after 
thee, for whither thou goest I will go, and where thou 

240 Addresses to The Jtiry. 

lodgestlwill lodge." On the twenty-seventh day of 
March, about sun-up, Mrs. Sarah Hite and her father, 
Mr. Norris, say these men came to old man Kite's. The 
recently stolen horses had been turned loose, and Jesse, 
Frank, and Dick came, one riding, two walking, two 
having guns, all having pistols. They stay a few days 
and go away; and in about two weeks come back 
again, four in the gang, Wood Hite being now with 
them as they prowl around. In a day or so they go to 
Nelson county, Kentucky, and are at Hall's, Hoskins' 
and other places. This is proven by the defendant's 
admission on the stand. This is the county from 
which, by the record evidence of the express companies 
and otherwise, it is shown these two guns were shipped, 
in May, 1S81, to John Ford, at Richmond, Missouri. 

Now, then, we come to the removal of all the gang, 
and the families of those married, to Missouri. 
Here, it is contended, all came but Frank. This 
is, because he is the one on trial. If Liddill were on 
trial, all would have come but him ; if Jesse James, all 
but him. There is plenty of positive proof that Frank 
James came ; but aside from this, the attending circum- 
stances all show it. To begin with all the band to 
which he belonged, Jesse James, Dick Liddil, Wood 
Hite, and Clarence Hite, it is admitted, came. This 
is the gang as just recruited in Kentucky, and to which, 
by the testimony of Mrs. Hite and her father, Frank 
James more truly belonged than did the Hite boys. 
Shall the oldest and shrewdest man in the gang remain 
behind when boys like Clarence Hite came along? 
Shall fledglings be brought on a daring flight in search 

Addresses to The Jury. 241 

of prey, and one of the parent birds be left at home. 
All came in April and May, iSSi "except" the man on 
trial. Even Jesse James's wife with little children came, 
and took up her residence in Kansas City, Missouri, as 
shown you by the testimony of Thomas Mimms, 
her brother. Frank James's wife herself comes; and 
as it now turns out, comes first of all, early in April, 
18S1. It was hard in the outset to show by testimony 
independent of the gang that she came ; but when we 
traced by the railroad records a sewing machine to Page 
City, in Lafayette county, Missouri, and from thence 
to her father's, at Independence, Missouri, the truth 
had to come, and Thomas Mimms tells you on the 
stand that he met her at the St. James Hotel, in Kansas 
City, and took her to her father's. The claim that she 
came to have General Shelby intercede for her husband 
with the Governor — long before the Winston and Blue 
Cut robberies, long before the reward of $10,000 was 
offered, long before the Governor and local officers were 
working in unison, and in dead, hard earnest to rid the 
state of shame and outlawry — is a subterfuge, and 
too preposterous to be believed by intelligent men. 

But positive proof that he came is abundant. It is 
just as clearly shown by disinterested witnesses that 
Frank James was at the home of the Fords in Ray county, 
Missouri, in May and in the summer and fall of 1881, 
as that he was at Mrs. Kite's in the early spring. I 
only mention one witness now, the one they did not 
attempt even to impeach, and whose testimony, all 
attorneys for the defense have striven to get away 


242 Addresses to The ytny. 

from as quickly as possible. This is the mod- 
est, intelligent, truthful, little Ida Bolton, of thir- 
teen summers, and as nice a child in mannLM- 
and deportment before you as the daughter of any 
man who hears my voice. She is placed upon the 
stand by the state. She utters not a word, except in 
simple answer to questions asked. Leaving out the 
questions she testifies: "I know Mr. James over there ; 
they called him Hall at our house — at Uncle Charley 
Ford's where I was in i88i. I knew him well; he 
came to our house in May, 1881, and was there several 
times that summer ; he wasupstairs a good deal and 
read. I know him and picked him out by myself from 
amongst all the men, when I came into court. He was 
at our house that summer with Jesse James, Dick 
Liddil, Clarence and Wood Hite. I know all of them. 
Frank James, Clarence Hite, and Charlie Ford left our 
house for Kentucky, they said, in October, I think, 
1881 ;" and a rigid cross-examination never caused her 
to waver in the simplicity of her truthfulness. Every 
man said — that is the truth. The defendant and his 
attorneys may storm and deny, but they can never get 
away from it. ^ We read in the Scriptures of a little 
maid who lived within, or close by, a worse house for 
murder than that of the Fords — the house of Pontius 
Pilate, or of the high-priest, I forget which. When 
the time for the crucifixion was drawing nigh, and all 
were deserting, Peter, the bold disciple, said he would 
stand by the Savior, to the last; but as he was warm- 
ing himself by the fire, this little maid, who had prob- 
ably seen hinfi but once before, came along and said, 

Addresses to The yury. 243 

"Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth," and he de- 
nied it; and the maid saw him again, "^and he said the 
same, and again he denied it and began to curse and 
swear. But it was the truth, despite his denial and 
profanity. So in this case the defendant may deny, 
and swear, and rave ; but I tell you the little maid saw 
him, and with honest men he can never get away from 
her testimony. I say nothing now of testimony to the 
same effect by Thomas Ford, Cap Ford, Martha Bol- 
ton, and Willie Bolton. 

Having traced defendant by dismterested testi- 
mony, circumstantial and positive, from Nashville to 
Kentucky, and thence to the Ford farm in Ray county, 
Missouri, let us come to your own county. Here we 
find from this and an adjoining county twelve witnesses 
who testify to you that he was here. They are all as 
honest, honerable, and intelligent citizens as can be 
found anywhere. They say he was here in your vicinity 
about two weeksbefore, and on the day of the Win- 
ston robbery. They conversed with him, he ate at 
their tables, and they know him. Three of them, the 
Bray family, say they believe him to be the man, and 
the remaining nine swear to him without a doubt. 
One of thefti, Ezra Soule, swears positively that he saw 
Frank James just before sundown on the evening of the 
robbery, and within half a mile of the place. "Yes," 
it is said, "but that is just where the case falls to the 
ground ; you prove Frank James to be there in the 
woods, but you can get him no further ; you fall a half 
mile short in making your case." Gentlemen, were 
you put in the jury-box as fools, as sticks, or as men 

244 Addresses to The Jniy. 

endowed by Almighty God with noble reasoning 
powers? Jurors, I tell you, you are expected and re- 
quired to use the common logic of the human mind, 
and when a conclusion follows with mathematical cer- 
tainty by co-mparing one state of facts with another, it 
is your duty to adopt that conclusion. Otherwise there 
could l)e no enforcements of the law in criminal cases. 
Five men placed with undeniable certainty in the 
w^oods there, and Frank James one of the five! 
Five men at the robbery, just as certainly as the light is 
coming in at these windows! Four of them admitted 
to be Jesse, Liddil, and the two Hites — and then say, 
the fifth one may have been some other than the de- 
fendant? What became of Frank James when they 
left the woods for the train? Did he by omnipotent 
aid ascend Elijah-like into the skies, and some honest 
farmer come and act his part? and when the deed was 
done, did the Almighty let him down again into his 
saddle, and the honest farmer go home to his couch? 
Oh, no, gentlemen, he was there; and every one of 
you know it. The conclusion is logical, unavoidable, 

You will perceive, gentlemen, that I have arrived 
at this point in my argument without the mention of 
Dick Liddil's name as a witness, and without relying 
upon his testimony for any conclusion whatever. 1 
have done so at a disadvantage to myself, for my cus- 
tom is to strive to push all the testimony along to- 
gether, hut I deemed it best in order to refute the 
oft-repeated assertion that "everything depended on 
Liddil," by demonstrating the defendant's presence at 

Addresses to The Jury. 245 

Winston without Liddil's evidence. But by the law of 
the land, Liddil is a competent witness; and I now 
propose hurriedly to discuss his testimony, bringing it 
along with the testimony of the other witnesses, but not 
in such manner, 1 trust as to weary you. 

Dick Liddil was a member of a band of train- 
robbers, known as "The James Gang," This nobody 
denies. If he had not been, he could not have rendered 
the state the vast benefit that he has. When men are 
about to commit a crime they do not sound a trumpet 
before them. They do their work in secret and in dark- 
ness. Neither when they are forming bands for plun- 
der or death, do they select conscientious, honest citi- 
zens. A man contemplating murder would not say, 
"come along, Mr. Gilreath, or Mr. Nance, and join 
me in my fiendish task." Their work is done when 
honest, law-abiding men are asleep, and "beasts 
creep forth." For this reason, when the state would 
break up a band of criminals, it must depend upon the 
assistance of one of their peers in crime to do it. 
Hence it is a custom, as old as the law, to pick out 
from a desperate band one of their own number, and, 
use him as a guide to hunt the others down. No hon- 
est, law-abiding man objects to this. When men go 
about where this is done, crying "perfidy," "traitor," 
"treason," you can put them down as the enemies of 
good government, or so steeped in prejudice that they 
know not what they do. Liddil, the least depraved 
man in the most secret, desperate band, perhaps the 
world ever saw, has thus been used ; and the state 
has chosen, -also to call him as a witness in this case- 

246 Addresses to The Jury. 

Mountains of abuse have been heaped upon him ; the 
English language has been ransacked for terms of 
villification. Once, forsooth, and after he got to be a 
trainrobber, too, he was a splendid fellow; splendid 
enough to be the boon companion of so pure and great 
a man as Frank James. You remember that the de- 
fendant himself testified that Liddil, passing under an 
alias^ was his guest, ate at his table, and slept under 
his roof. Liddil was one of the heroes then, of whom 
we have heard so much. But suddenly he makes a 
change. He leaves the shades of crime and comes out 
into the sunlight of law and order; and all at once, 
strange to say, he is transformed into a "viper," a 
"villain," a "scoundrel," a "demon" or such "exe- 
crable shape" as his old tutor's counsel can give him. 
But let the attorneys for the defense go on with their 
abuse ; it is a part of their business. I shall not retort 
by calling the defendant a "viper," a "perjurer," a 
"demon" and the like. Even the way in which Liddil 
comes into court is dwelt upon. To appeal to your 
prejudices by intimating that the United States, Frank 
James's enemy, in 1863, was trying to convict him, Col. 
Philips says Liddil came guarded by a "United States 
marshal;" when the fact is, he came with Capt. 
Maurice Langhorne, deputy marshal of Jackson county, 

Col. Philips. I did not say anything about a 
United States marshal. 

Air. Wallace. Possibly it was a slip of the ton- 
gue, but I insist that you did., and so did one of your 
colleagues ; and it was followed up by you by denunci- 

Addresses to The Jury. 247 

ation of Langhorne, who never opened his mouth as a 
witness, simply coming here in the performance of an 
official duty. It will surprise you, gentlemen, to know 
that Capt. Langhorne, who has thus been introduced 
to you, was for four years an officer with Gen. Shelby, 
the much-lauded witness for the defense. Thank 
Heaven, too, gentlemen, I can say for Capt. Lang- 
horne, that he found out long ago that the war was 
over, and he is in favor of prosecuting and punishing 
train-robbers and murderers, no matter who they are, 
or where they were in days gone by. 

It is said Dick Liddil surrendered, and bargained 
with the governor of the state, and Craig and Timber- 
lake, to convict Fank James, guilty or innocent, in order 
to obtain immunity for himself. I deny that. There 
is no proof about it, and I have a right, in answer, to 
emphatically and positively deny it. The only con- 
tract with Liddil was that always made with those turn- 
ing state's evidence, as we call it, namely, that he 
should tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth ; 
and if he told a falsehood he did it at his peril, and the 
contract was ended. To say that these gentlemen would 
coolly bargain with a man to swear away the life or lib- 
erty of a fellow-'being, guilty or itmocent, is simply 
monstrous. The governor, their own witness, was on 
thestand; why not ask him about the contract .? They 
did not dare to. Timberlake was on the stand ; why not 
ask him.!* They did not dare to. Craig was here, sub- 
poenaed by them; why not put him on the stand and 
ask him.? Why let him go home.? 

248 Addresses to The Jury. 

Col. Philips. There is no evidence that Craig 
was here, and I do not think it proper to bring it before 
the jury. 

The Court. I understood at the commencement 
of Mr. Wallace's argument that all exceptions would 
be taken in writing. I do not know Mr. Craig, and 
can not say as to his being present. 

Mr. Wallace. The records of the court will show 
that a subpoena duces tecum was issued by the defense 
for Henry H, Craig, and that he bring with him the 
written confession of Dick Liddil, made just after his 
surrender. In obedience to that subpcena, Capt. Craig 
sat for a long time within this bar. 1 know him, saw 
him, and talked with him. What a magnificent oppor- 
tunity to contradict Dick Liddil — to show by his con- 
fession in writing he had sworn falsely. Instead of 
groundless declamation about the falsehoods Liddil has 
concocted since his surrender, how much better it would 
have been to ask the Governor, Craig, and Timberlake, 
about his conduct and truthfulness. Why not ask them 
if in any instance he had ever misled the officers, or 
told a single falsehood? 

It is urged that Liddil has been contradicted by 
impeaching witnesses, but the effort to contradict him 
was a downright failure. They declaim mostly on the 
testimony of Gen. Joe Shelby, who says that in the fall 
of 1881 he met in Lafayette county, Missouri, Jesse 
James, Dick Liddil, Wood Hite, and Jim Cummings, 
on horseback, going south ; and that he there learned 
from them that Frank had not been in Missouri for a 
lou"; time, and of course was not at Winston. I v\ill 

Addresses to The Jury. 249 

be charitable enough to say, that had Gen. Shelby been 
fully at himself, it is trusted he would not have so testi- 
fied. I blame some of the attorneys more than I do 
him. You remember that during his cross-examination 
one of them twice arose and said, "the witness is in no 
condition to testify," and asked that he be excused for 
the present ; but they had deliberately put him on the 
stand, and despite the storming of the witness at me — 
for which I care not a fig — I was determined they should 
not put a lot of questions, all written out by them, at 
him, insist until he answered them just as written, and 
then dismiss him from the stand. I am not here to 
accuse a man situated as Gen. Shelby was, with false 
swearing — let gentlemen from the other side — 

Col. Philips. Mr, Wallace, do you mean to say 
that I, as an attorney, would write out a false question 
and put it to a witness? 

Mr. Wallace. The gentleman is getting excited. 
Not even the hint of the court to keep quiet is enough 
to curb his fiery spirit. I will be charitable enough 
with you. Col. Philips, to say that your client bade you 
write these questions. You kno^v that I am telling the 
truth — that these questions were all written out, and 
that you had a contention with the witness before he 
would answer them at all. But Gen. Shelby is bound 
to be mistaken as to seeing these men thus, in the fall 
of 188 1. The other evidence overwhelmingly shows 
it. He puts Cummings with them, when by the remod- 
eled defense Cummings was not with the gang at that 
time at all. Besides, it is shown by Mrs. Hite that 
Jesse James, instead of associating with Cummmgs 

250 Addresses to The Jtiry. 

after February. iSSi, was hunting him to kill him on 
sight. It is further shown beyond question that the 
gang, after the Winston robbery, adopted the plan of 
walking as safer, and had no horses. Besides this, Tom 
Mimms says that Jesse James remained in Kansas City 
until late in the fall of 18S1 ; he saw him continually; 
and when he left — he found afterward he went to St. 
Joseph — that he never went south that fall at all. Mrs. 
Samuels, too, swears that Jesse never went south for 
any purpose -in the fall of 1S81. But it is useless to say 
more. The contradicting testimony of Tutt, Joe B. 
Chiles, and the marshal of Lexington, granting it true, 
is simply what you might expect from any man con- 
stantly importuned by hundreds of curious inquirers. 
Brosius can make the robbers on the cars "fifteen feet 
high and three feet through, with pistols having muz- 
zles as big as your hat" — all in a joke; yet Liddil, 
besieged to answer by a thousand persons, can not put 
a man off but it must be construed into a contradiction. 
Let us now examine Liddil's testimony, not him, 
but his testimony. If any one of you is prejudiced 
against him — and I see no reason why you should be, 
for you have certainly seen no more candid, straight- 
forward witness — look at his testimony, not at Liddil. 
Scrutinize his testimony, and let it stand or fall on its 
merits. If the judge of this court should hand me a 
glass of water, and Liddil should also hand me one, if 
I felt squeamish as to whether the contents of the two 
were equally pure, I would proceed to examine the 
water^ mainly, at least, and not the man. But your 
mind suggests "you could analyze this by chemical 

Addresses to The Jury. 251 

formula and apparatus and see whether or not it con- 
tained poison." So you can, with equal certainty an- 
alyze the testimony of Liddil in this case. The formula 
is contained in the eighth instruction, to which I said, 
when on that branch, I would call your attention in dis- 
cussing the evidence. By this, if you are in doubt after 
listening to the bare statement of an accomplice, upon 
which alone you may convict, then you call to your aid 
your formula ; and the test is corroboration or no cor- 
roboration. If corroborated by other truthful wit- 
nesses, you are bound to believe his testimony. Let 
us, then, standing here in the great laboratory of the 
law, make a chemical analysis of Liddil's testimony, 
and see if every time the test of corroboration is applied 
to the glass of water he has handed you, it does not 
bubble and sparkle with the truth. And at the outset 
I say to my friends on the other side, find me a case in 
your practice, find me a case in the books, find me a 
case in the history of trials, where an accomplice has 
been so wonderfully corroborated as this man Liddil. 
Liddil says that for some time before coming to Mis- 
souri they all lived in or near Nashville, Tennesee ; that 
Frank James went by the name of B. J. Woodson, 
Jesse James as J. D. Howard, Bill Ryan as Tom Hill, 
and himself as plain Mr. Smith ; and he is corroborated 
as to every word by Earthman, Moffit, Home, and 
Sloan. He says that on March 25, 1S81, Ryan was 
arrested, and gives particulars; and Earthman corrob- 
orates him in full. He says they all lived in Nashville 
in March, i88i, at 814 Fatherland street, and disap- 
peared about April i, 1S81; and Johli Trimble^Jr., 

252 Addresses to The Jtiry. 

who rented "B. J. Woodson" the house, and James B. 
May who purchased the same, came, with books and 
dates, and corroborated him in detail. He tells you 
that he, Jesse, and Frank, on Ryan's arrest, fled to old 
man Hite's, in Kentucky; and Airs. Kite and her 
father, Mr. Norris, corroborate in every sentence he 
utters. He says they then went to Nelson county. Ken- 
tucky, and shipped guns from Adairsville, in that 
county, to Missouri— what a fine chance to contradict 
him, if untrue, by the express books; but N. G. Bishop, 
at Lexington, Missouri, and the agent at Richmond,' 
Missouri, show you by their books that a box came, just 
as Liddil says, to the first and thence to the latter town 
directed to J. T. Ford. He testifies that the families of 
Jameses then came to Missouri, giving dates and sur- 
rounding circumstances, and he is corroborated by other 
witnesses; that he, Jesse, Frank, and the two Hites 
came to Missouri ; and all is admitted, except as to 
Frank, and here he is corroborated in a dozen ways; 
that Frank James' wife came to Shelby's with a sewing 
machine, thence to Kansas City, and thence to her 
father's; and Geo. Hall, of Page City, Dan. Bullard, 
agent of the Mo. P. R. R., at Independence, Missouri, 
and Thos. Mimms corroborated him at every step, with 
dates and records. He says that Frank James and the 
others of the gang were frequently at the Ford farm, in 
Ray county, Missouri, in the spring, summer, and fall 
of iSSi ; and old man Ford, up to the time he clashed 
with the matchless James, as good a man as Ray 
county had, Cap. Ford, Martha Bolton, Willie Bolton, 
and Ida Bolton come on the stand and testify that 

Addresses to The Jury. 253 

Frank James was there, and corroborate him in a score 
of details. But just here I am tempted to pause a mo- 

The Fords are abused and defamed by the hour 
by defendant's counsel. Once they were most respect- 
able citizens of Ray county, entertainers of chivalric 
knights; but now their house is called a "robber's 
roost," where guests are murdered and buried in the 
night "unshrouded and uncoffined." As if you were 
friends sitting weeping on the tomb of Jesse James, 
the question was put to the Fords as occasion presented 
"are you the father," or "the sister," or "the brother" 
"of Bob and Charlie Ford" who assassinated Jesse 
James?" If the house of the Fords was a most disrep- 
utable place, who did as much to make it such as 
Frank and Jesse James.?" If it was a robber's roost, 
with devouring vultures sitting on the limbs, what 
were Frank and Jesse James when they congregated 
there with the younger birds? By whose counsel, ex- 
ample or encouragement, were all the young members 
of this band induced to join it, and to give themselves 
over to lives of shame and bloodshed ? Who but Jesse 
James induced Dick Liddil to leave the vocation of a 
farm hand in The Six Mile, in my own county, to be a 
bandit and a train-robber? Who but Jesse James took 
Bill Ryan from his little home, there on the Blue? 
Who made of him an outlaw and a desperado, until he 
fills a felon's cell, and his widowed mother an untimely 
grave ? Frank and Jesse James. Who led Wood 
Hite along the slimy way of vice until he perishes from 
his own viciousness, and is tumbled into the ground 

254 Addresses to The y^ry. 

without a tear, and without a shroud? Frank and 
Jesse James. Who took the green, "gangling" boy, 
Clarence Hite, from his home in old Kentucky, rushed 
him along the path of robbery and murder, until he 
fills a convict's cell, and a convict's grave? Frank 
and Jesse James. Who taught the Ford boys to kill 
for money? Jesse James. I am not here as a defender 
of the Ford boys. I have nothing but condemnation 
for their method and their motive in slaying the bandit 
king. But neither he, nor his admirers, can be heard 
to complain. He fell at the hands of his pupils, and 
according to his own methods. As the old eagle to 
teach her young to brave the winds in search of prey, 
bears them upon her wings from off the craggy cliff, 
and trains them above some serging vortex in the sea, 
so did Jesse James hold the Ford boys above the black 
vortex of crime, and train them for robbery and assas- 
sination. Well might the poet say of his fall, as he 
did of the eagle, struck down in his flight for prey, 
by the aid of a feather dropped from his own wing, — 

"So the struck eagle stretched upon the plain, 

No more through rolling clouds to soar again, 
Viewed his own feather on the fatal dart, 
And winged the shaft that quivered in liis heart. 

"Keen were his pangs, but keener far to feel, 
He nursed the pinion that impelled the steel, 

And the same plumage that had warmed his nest 
Drank the last life drop from his bleeding breast." 

Farewell, Jesse James, prince of robbers! Missouri 
cries a long, a glad farewell ! Crudest horseman that 
ever wore a spur or held a reign, seeming oftner like 

Addresses to The yury. 255 

Death himself on his pale horse charging through the 
land, than feeling man, farewell! farewell! Foulest 
blot that ever marred the bright escutcheon of a glori- 
ous state, farewell ! farewell ! Yes, thou bloody star 
of murder, hanging for years like a thing of horror in 
our very zenith, frightening science and civilization 
from our borders — I condemned the manner of thy 
taking off, yet I could but join the general acclaim, 
when, seized with the shock of death, we saw thee reel 
in thy orbit, and then plunge forever into old chaos 
and eternal night. 

But while I talk thus of Jesse James, I will deal 
more justly and tenderly with his memory than has his 
brother now on trial, and those of his kindred who 
have come as witnesses to screen him from his 
crime. I will not desecrate a dead man's memory and 
heap additional infamy upon his widow, and children 
after his voice is hushed in death. Missouri's sunshine 
and showers will kindly nourish such flowers as the 
widow of Jesse James may plant upon his grave, and 
so will I. Let it remain for brother and kindred to go 
thither and scald their lives out by pouring upon them 
the hot blood of McMillan, shed by Frank James at 

Possibly I have followed my defending brothers in 
their far-fetched attemps at sympathy or prejudice 
farther than I should have done. Let us return and 
take up Liddil's evidence at the house of the Fords. 
He says the defendant was frequently there in 1881, 
and all the Ford family say the same. Frank James 
made these people his associates ; they are at least as 

256 Addresses to The yury. 

good as he; they are his peers, and let him stand by 
their testimony. 

We have now come to the preparation proper for 
the robbery. I will omit the procuring of horses, in 
which Liddil is corroborated in every item. He says, 
with the Samuels' homestead and the Fords' as head- 
quarters, they made three trips in search of a train to 
rob. The first trip to Chillicothe I will omit. The, 
details are given by him, but the defense fails to con 
tradict him at any step. The other two trips were 
both made to your own county, one about two weeks 
before the robbery and the last when it was perpe- 
trated. The corroboration of these two trips is won- 
derful. You can actually trace the band through and 
back again without his testimony. 

Take the first trip: Liddil says he and Frank got 
breakfast at a house in your county — which he so 
minutely described that you know it is Mrs. Frank's, 
and Mrs. Frank corroborates him ; that he and Frank 
James then went a few miles to a blacksmith shop to 
have Clarence Hite's horse shod, and Jonas Potts cor- 
roborates him — picks Liddil our here on the street dur- 
ing the triid, and identifies the defendant; that they 
then started back, staying all night at Wolfenbarger's, 
describes the house, barn, family, tells of Jesse being 
sick here, helping to load wood, etc., etc., and Wolfen- 
barger identifies both him and Frank James, and cor- 
roborates him in every detail; that they then passed on 
to a place and got dinner, and Jesse was taken to town 
in a buggy, describing surroundings to you, family and 
everything, and the Brays come and corroborate him in 

Addresses to The Jury. 257 

full. This was the first trip. I have not given half 
the minutiae ; you remember them ; he was contradicted 
in nothing. Look at the trip when the crime was com- 
mitted. He says they rode from Mrs. Samuels', start- 
ing at the usual time, good dark, and rode about all 
night — five of them on five horses. He describes these 
horses, and your best citizens come and describe them 
just as he does. He says that on the day after start- 
ing, as they came they separated, Frank and Clarence 
turning off slightly to one side, and the balance to the 
other, and minister Machette — just in the right neigh- 
borhood — picks out Frank as being at his house with a 
tall young fellow for dinner just at this time ; that they 
came and camped at night in the woods, just about a 
mile from Gallatin, so describing two houses close by 
that any citizen could go at once to the place ; that on 
this trip Frank and Clarence went to the same black- 
smith shop to get Frank's little bay mare shod, and 
Jonas Potts, Mrs. Potts (his wife), Wash Whitman 
and 'Squire Mallory corroborate him, and identify the 
defendant; that when they broke camp in the woods, 
near Gallatin, on the morning of the day of the rob- 
bery, they separated, Jesse and Wood going together, 
Frank and Clarence together, and he (Liddil) by him- 
self ; and thus, taking different routes, they went from 
here to the appointed place of meeting in the woods, 
close to the scene of the crime ; and in making this 
trip, about nine miles, all loiteringly, he got his dinner 
at a little house, describing it "where they had a blind 
girl," and Mrs. Kindig and her daughter say this was 

258 Addresses to The Jury. 


their house, and corroborate him in all details, and sa] 
they picked him out since the trial in crowded Gallatin 
as the man; and sure enough, we find them thus sep- 
arated, for Ezra Soule says he saw Frank at this place 
of meeting in the woods, and describes Clarence as 
with him; and Mrs. Montgomery and her daujjhter put 
Jesse and Wood, by accurate description of them and 
their horses, bays, at their house for supper. He says 
they then went from this place in the woods and com- 
mitted the robbery, and tells all the details as to the 
manner of its being done ; and those on the train cor- 
roborate him in every particular. j 

After the robbery he says they went to the Fords' 
and Mrs. Samuels', and tells as to the turning loose of i 
the horses; and in all he is corroborated, for they are ' 
found and the owners get them back. He says they 
stayed on this side of the river for some weeks, and 
then bought a wagon from Mrs. Samuels, hitched his ' 
horse and Charlie Ford's pony to it — Charlie joining 
the gang, as is conceded, after the Winston robbery— ^H 
and crossed the river at Kansas City, one of them hav-S 
ing on women's clothes as they went over the bridge; 
and separating in Jackson county, the wagon was left 
at J. W. McCraw's, in the Six Mile, and his horse 
returned to Lamartine Hudspeth, from whom he pur- 
chased it — and the Samuels family corroborate him as 
to everything except that the living James was along, 
and McCraw as to the balance. He is finally fully 
corroborated as to the time and manner in which 
Frank James left Ray county for Kentucky, in October, 
1881, by Ida Bolton and the balance of the family, and 

Addresses to The Jury. 259 

by Mr. Hughes, a banker at Richmond, who says he 
believes Frank James to be the man he saw taking the 
train at this time. While listening to gentlemen for 
the defense, I counted fifty-six material instances in 
which Liddil is corroborated, and I could have extended 
it to a hundred or more. With all these details, he is 
not contradicted in a single instance. It is only con- 
tended he is in two flaces. One when Liddil, in 
describing a house close to Gallatin, said he "thought 
it was a two-story white house;" and witnesses are 
actually put on the stand to show it was "a story-and- 
a-half white house." What a miserable effort to break 
a man down, who is describing scores of places he 
never saw before nor since. The other contradiction 
is only attempted by one attorney, Mr. Slover. He 
says Liddil says there were five men at Bray's, and the 
Brays say four. But even Air. Slover's associates, and 
every reporter in this trial, will bear me out that Liddil 
s'aid Wood Hite had gone back on the train, and that 
Jesse, Frank, Clarence, and himeelf were at Bray's. 

This is Liddil's testimony. He was cross-ex- 
amined for hours without ever varying from his testi- 
mony in chief, in a single instance. In the very nature 
of things it is bound to be true. No man could manu- 
facture such a story, carrying it along with hundreds of 
details over a distance of sixteen hundred miles, with- 
out contradicting himself; much less, have scores of 
witnesses come in and corroborate him at every point. 
No man could put an innocent person in an expedi- 
tion like this, on different horses, at dozens of places, 
sometimes alone, sometimes with all the band, some- 

26o Addresses to The Jury. 

times with one other, on trains, in houses, with families, 
in the woods, under all the varying vicissitudes, cover- 
ing five months of time and a distance of sixteen hun- 
dred miles, — and then be rushed through a searching 
cross-examination for half a day without an error. He 
could as easily perform a miracle. The state has 
simply taken Liddil's statement and drawn it together 
link by link, and then invincibly forged each link to its 
fellow, by corroborating testimony, until we have an 
unbroken and unbreakable chain stretching from Nash- 
ville to Winston. We sometimes follow the streamlet 
making its way feebly but unbroken down the moun- 
tain-side, but after a little another streamlet meets it, 
then another and another, until at length, a resistless 
torrent, it sweeps on to the plain beneath. So the evi- 
dence, taken as a whole, gathers and strengthens in this 
case. So ultimately, like a torrent, it sweeps along, 
bearing upon its surging crest all the "banners" and 
"flags," prejudices and technicalities with which the de- 
fense have striven to resist its flow. 

The strongest, yet far shortest, part of the evidence 
is yet to be examined. This is the testimony of twelve 
conscientious, intelligent witnesses, who identified 
Frank James as one of a band seen in this section about 
the time of the robbery of this train. Most of them, 
without any assistance, have picked Liddil out from 
the crowd of strangers on the street here since the trial, 
and identify him as easily as they do Frank James, 
though not a peculiar man in appearance, as is the de- • 
fendant. Neither the reputation nor intelligence of 
these witnesses can be attacked, for they are all splendi4 

Addresses to The Jury. 261 

citizens. Something must be done ; and wandering as 
far from the testimony as Neptune wanders from the 
Sun, each lawyer for the defense makes a witness out 
of himself, and cites numerous instances of mistaken 
identity from the books, and other instances which 
they assure you they know about themselves, until they 
would reason you into the conclusion that there is no 
such thing as identification. To listen to them, you 
could not swear to one another a year hence. Having 
been housed up here for two weeks, you will fail to 
identify persons living along the road to town, as you 
return ; and will not know beyond a doubt your wives 
and children when you reach your homes. Such a doc- 
trine as they have sought to instill into your minds is 
simply monstrous. It is contrary to all human conduct 
and experience. We act upon the law of faith in what 
other men see, every day of our lives. All history is 
founded on what others saw, and bear witness to. The 
Christian world to-day, containing teeming millions of 
human beings, in considering the fate of the immortal 
soul — the profoundest topic presented to the mind of 
man — is resting its faith upon a simple question of iden- 
tification. The religion recognized by the laws of this 
nation, and which required you to take an oath to our 
God at the outset, hangs upon the testimony of twelve 
plain witnesses as to the miracles and identity of a risen 
Savior. Paul, the greatest of these witnesses, and one 
of the most logical and towering intellects the world 
has seen, based all his hopes for eternity on a single 
sight of the risen Lord. 

262 Addresses to The Jury. 

The testimony of our twelve witnesses is as fol- 
lows: The first three witnesses are William Bray, his 
wife, Mrs. Bray, and their son, R. E. Bray, well 
appearing, intelligent people, living, as you remem- 
ber, where the four came for dinner, and Jesse James 
was taken to town sick. They all describe Frank 
James with his "burnsides," and testify that, to the 
best of their knowledge and belief, the defendant is 
the man. You remember Earthman, of Nashville, 
says Frank wore long, full, lightish whiskers in Nash- 
ville ; and Liddil and all the Ford family say he had 
pretty long "burnsides" this summer, having shaved 
the chin. 

4. The fourth witness was Jonas Potts, the 
blacksmith, who had two good opportunities to see 
Frank James; and he identifies him and testifies posi- 
tively that he is the man. He picked Liddil out in a 
crowd, and singled out the little bay mare in a livery 
stable in Liberty and recognized her shoes as his 
workmanship; why can he not as well be absolutely 
correct in identifying Frank James, confessedly one of 
the most unusual men in appearance in the country. 

5. Mrs. Jonas Potts saw Frank and Clarence at 
her table at breakfast — says Frank called the young 
fellow with him "Clarence ;" and she tells you she 
has no doubt about this being the man. 

6. 'Squire Mallory is one of your oldest and 
most intelligent citizens. No man can breathe aught 
against him. He tells you he realizes a man is on 
trial for his life, but he saw this defendant at Potts' 

Addresses to The Jury, 263 

shop just before the robbery, and is so positive of it 
he has no hesitancy in swearing to it. 

7. Wash Whitman shows by his appearance and 
demeanor that he is a most excellent and sensible 
citizen. You know I am not saying more for any of 
these witnesses than they deserve. You could not 
select better persons in your thriving county if given 
your own time for the task. Whitman says he was at 
Potts' shop at the same time 'Squire Mallory was, and 
to use his own woi'ds-, says : "I am as confident as I am 
of anything this is one of the men I saw there. If I 
had any doubt about it, gentlemen, I would not say 
so." Whitman was a most sturdy, honest-looking 
fellow; and the defense as good as said, "That's the 
God's truth," by not venturing to ask a single question 
in cross-examination. 

8. Mrs. James Frank, you remember, is the lady 
at whose house two men got breakfast before going to 
Potts'. She says positively Frank James is one of the 
men. All of these witnesses, you remember, also 
describe the defendant in the same way as to de- 
meanor, clothing as far as they can recall, and say he 
had lightish "burnsides," or, as some termed it "side- 

9 and 10. Frank Wolfenbarger and his sister, 
Mrs. Charlotte Lindsey, are wide-awake, industrious, 
well-educated young people. They testify that 
defenrlant stayed all night at their house at the time 
Liddil says they did, and they have no question as to 
his identity. Each of them identified the defendant 
positively the first look they ever got at him. 

264 Addresses to The Jury. 

11. Ezra Soule is a somewhat peculiar old 
gentleman, perhaps, as the defense claims, but his 
curious, inquiring turn makes him all the better wit- 
ness. He says he was hunting blackberries in the 
woods and ran across Frank James ; took him and his 
partner to be horse-thieves, and talked with, and 
watched them especially on this account, and testifies 
that this beyond question is one of the men. 

12. Rev. Mr. Machette, a minister of the Christ- 
ian church, is a gentleman of considerable culture and 
extraordinary memory. He notices minutae like a 
woman. He tells you that a few days before the 
Winston robbery two horsemen were at his house for 
dinner. He charged nothing, but they paid anyhow. 
He says that he is so sure that Frank James is one of 
the men, that had he charged for that dinner and met 
the defendant yesterday in the road, he would have 
presented his bill without hesitation; that there can be 
no doubt about his being the man. After relating 
both on direct and cross-examination, what occurred 
while the horses were being fed, when the call was 
made for dry feed (for a long ride, etc.), he says they 
went into the house, and Frank James, noticing he had 
a library, began to talk books. In an effort to find 
out something about his mysterious visitors, Machette 
asked questions as to their acquaintance with towns 
lying south of him, and was puzzled with skillful 
evasions. Once, in answer to a question about who 
he knew at a small town, the defendant said: "What 
do you think of Bob Ingersol?" Finally the defend- 
ant, he said, got to Shakespeare, and after passing 

Addresses to The Jury. 265 

encomiums on this great genius, arose and recited 
extracts from his plays (the slouchy Sphinx, alias 
Wood Hite, alias "Old Grimes," no doubt). A man, 
gentleman, may change the exterior of his person, but 
he can not change the complexion of the mind within. 
This is a most remarkable mental characteristic for a 
western bandit. To say that it is nothing uncommon 
for a train-robber to go through the land spouting 
Shakespeare is preposterous. There is no getting 
away from the identification furnished by Mr. Mach- 
ette. It "makes assurance doubly sure." Dr. 
William E. Black, one of your best citizens, testifies 
that since Frank James has been in jail, he had a long 
conversation with him, in which he talked much of 
Shakespeare, and of his plays, naming, I think, Mac- 
beth, Richard III, Hamlet, and others; and passing his 
opinion on Barrett and others, whom he said he had had 
the pleasure of seeing. The nail was driven through 
by the other witnesses, but the testimony of Machette 
and Black, taken together, rivet forever the identity of 
this defendant. This completes the evidence for the 
state — abundant, conclusive, irresistible. 

What is the defense.? To meet such overwhelming 
proof on behalf of the state, an unprejudiced mind 
would naturally say it ought to be honest, genuine, 
complete. What is it.? Any honest defense, known 
to the charge of murder — self-defense, insanity, an 
alibi? They are actually ashamed to name it. Col. 
Philip says, "I don't know what you would call it." 
Mr. Glover's definition would do credit to some of 
our modern scientists: "It is an alibi whose strength 

266 Addresses to The Jtiry. 

consists in its weakness." The fact is, gentlemen, it 
is an attempted alibi ; but to sensible men so trans- 
parent a dodge that they are ashamed of it. The 
attempt is to show that Frank James was in Texas, 
and not at Winston, in the state of Missouri, on the 
fifteenth day of July, iSSi. Every witness brought to 
show this is a member of the family; Mrs. Samuels, 
the mother of defendant, John Samuels, his brother, 
Mrs. Palmer, a sister, and Palmer and Nicholson, 
brothers-in-law, and defendant himself, are the wit- 
nesses. Mrs. Samuels is a mother testifying for her 
son. She says he was not at her house in iSSi. I am 
not going to abuse her. Her testimony is contradicted 
by near a score of absolutely disinterested witnesses. 
She is bound to have known Jesse and his band were 
robbers and plunderers, and yet she willingly fed them 
all; and readily said on the stand : "Yes, Mr. Wallace, 
I furnished them a dress when they went off in the 
wagon; I did this so you officers over there could not 
catch them." Would she not shield Frank from the 
law as quick as she would Jesse — now the scape-goat 
of all the sins, it would seem, of both. Take her 
testimony, gentlemen, together with Col. Philip's 
eulogy, and give it the weight you know it desei-ves. 
Mrs. Palmer is a sister testifying for her brother on 
trial for his life. I am going to leave her, too, with- 
out any abuse, or criticism even. No sadder sight is 
ever seen in life than a woman put on the stand as she 
was. You know that Frank James was not at her 
house in the summer of 1881, as she says. I will say 
this for her: she seemed to appreciate her terrible 

Addresses to The Jury. 267 

situation on the stand, and to feel relieved when the 
awful task was ended. 

I can not say as much for her husband, Allen 
Palmer, of Clay county, Texas. He travels a thousand 
miles to utter a single sentence: "I worked for a rail- 
road in the summer of iSSi, and when I came home in 
August, Frank James was there." This is all; and his 
mouth is closed as with the grip of death. He is one 
of those alibi witnesses seen quite often in our courts, 
who bobs up and swears to one single fact, and then 
falls back forever into the oblivion ofjorgetfulness. He 
knows it was 1881 when Frank was there, because he, 
Palmer, "worked for a railroad." "On what part of the 
road, Mr. Palmer.?" "Can't remember." "For what 
contractor?" "Can't remember." "For what boss?" 
"Can't remember." "Give name of any men working 
with you or near you that summer?" "Can't remem- 
ber." "Was your name on the pay rolls of the com- 
pany?" "Can't remember." Of course not ; we might 
examine the rolls. "Who did you board with?" "Can't 
remember." "Give the name of any man who paid 
you any money, or who saw you there?" "Can't 
remember." No man who heard him was fool enough 
to believe a word he said. What a contrast between 
Liddil and Palmer — between open truth and skulking 

John Samuels defendant's half-brother deserves 
scarcely a mention. Every attorney for the defense 
stamps his testimony as false. For twelve hours they 
have exclaimed, at the top of their voices, that the band 
beyond question was composed of only four men, Jesse 

268 Addresses to The Jury. 

James, Dick Liddil, Wood and Clarence Hite — and 
turn their backs in scorn on John Samuels who named' 
these four, and also Jim Cummings. His evidence does 
but one thing, and that is to show the impossibility of 
Liddil's putting an innocent man in the gang and trac- 
ing him through such multiplied and changmg vicissi- 
tudes ; for you remember when Samuels was put on the 
stand, doubtless for the express purpose of putting 
Cummings in the band, he left him out twice in naming 
the gang, and then only put him in in answer to a most 
leading question ; and Mrs. Samuels the very first time 
she tried it made exactly the same mistake. 

For Thompson Brosius, who testifies he was on 
the train and thinks Frank James is not one of the rob- 
bers, a man has nothing but astonishment and sympa- 
thy. He has been visiting James in jail until, in pur- 
suance of a maudlin sympathy, he has possibly brought 
himself to think he is not the man. The truth is, like 
Major McGee and every other witness on the train, he 
knows nothing about who it was. Ten or twelve of 
the best citizens in Gallatin come before you and im- 
peach Brosius in a most terifiic manner. To some he 
said he was so scared that "The men looked fifteen feet 
high, and their pistols four feet long, with muzzles as 
big as your hat," and "he would not know them if he 
saw them." Those in search of an accurate description 
went to him, and he said he could actually give none; 
and to add to his pitiable plight as a witness, his own 
brother-in-law and partner takes the stand, and says 
Brosius went to see defendant since his being placed in 
jail, and came back and said he "could not say whether 

Addresses to The Jury, 269 

James was one of the men on the train or not — could 
tell nothing about it." 

The only witness for the defense whose evidence 
is worthy of consideration is the defendant himself. 
And what a failure he made. You never saw a poor 
wretch caught in the very act of theft who did not go 
on the stand and tell a more reasonable story. To those 
unaccustomed to such things he recited his story on di- 
rect examination with some plausibility. He admits 
he went into Kentucky, but there he was constrained to 
leave the boys, after imploring them in the name of his 
mother, and all that was holy, not to come into Missouri. 
This was, you remember, in the spring of 1881. He 
then went, he says, to Louisville, thence to Memphis, 
thence to Denison, Texas, and thence to his sister's, in 
Clay county, Texas. In this last section he remained 
most quietly until September 9, 1881, when he left and 
went to Kentucky and met his wife, thence into Virginia 
and North Carolina. The cross-examination comes. 
To understand this entire evidence you must reflect 
that when he said he went to Texas, no effort was being 
put forth to capture the band, and that the pursuit com- 
menced in terrible earnest after the Winston robbery of 
July 15, 1S81. The latter part of his testimony as to go- 
ing into Kentucky, Virginia, and north Carolina, was 
doubtless true ; and knowing he would delight to cor- 
roborate himself, 1 first went over this ground with him 
— all subsequent to the robbery and when the band 
weje falling one by one in the hot pursuit. He 
gives the towns he visited in Kentucky, gives exact 
dates, describes hotels, and gives aliases under 

270 Addresses to The Jury. 

which he registered. No man could ask more. He 
goes into Virginia, and does the same in a number 
of instances and does as well in North Carolina. 
He then comes back into Virginia, and at Lynch- 
burg, where he says they lived, he describes their house, 
from whom rented, where they bought groceries, and 
gives names of citizens who saw them. This was splen- 
did. All at once, however, we change, and he is asked 
now to go over his trip to Texas, coveri7ig the time of 
the robbery, and give details as on his trips through 
Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina; and alas! our 
light goes out, and we at once sit down with him and 
Allen Palmer in eternal oblivion. Not a single hotel 
can he name or describe from Louisville to Clay county, 
Texas. Not a single place where he registered from 
April to October, 18S1. He finally mentions just one 
man he saw during this whole time, at Denison, Texas, 
and he absolutely refuses to give his name. A man 
with scores of details, on a trip in the fall of 1S81 and 
winter of 1SS2, when no crime for which he is charged 
is committed, can not get outside of his own fancy to 
give a corroborating straw as to his whereabouts in the 
summer of iSSr, when this train robbery and murder 
was going on in Missouri. 

It is idle to talk about such testimony. Frank- 
James was at Winston, engaged in robbery and 
murder. Ever}' man on this jury knows it. God and 
his angles know it. 

We have now, gentlemen, examined the law and 
the evidence. One would suppose that in a court of 
justice, where remarks must be confined to the law 

Addresses to The Jury. 271 

and the evidence, my task was- ended. Yet I should 
fall far short of my duty to the state of Missouri, if 
I sat down without noticing some extraneous appeals 
that have been ingeniously made to you for the ac- 
quittal of this man, and upon which some of the 
attorneys laid far more stress than upon the law or the 

First the appeal is made that Frank James ought 
to be acquitted because he "surrendered." When 
ordinary men place themselves in the hands of the 
officers — as they frequently do, and are often convicted, 
too — we say, "he gave himself up;" but when Frank 
James places himself in the hands of the officers, his 
attorneys continually talk to you about it as if they 
announced the close of some great war, in the "sur- 
render" of the last chieftain — but let the term be used 
for what it is worth. Col. Philips says that because he 
came in and surrendered he ought not to be prosecu- 

Col. Philips. I said no such thing. 

Mr. Wallace. You said it in substance a dozen 
times. Your speech was full of wails about the "per- 
sistency" and "revenge" "of this persecution," after 
the defendant has "surrendered." You want him 
prosecuted right easy, then ; right easy, which is worse. 
A milk-and-cider prosecution is worse than none. 
The term "surrendered" was used hundreds of times 
by opposing counsel during the twelve hours consumed 
by them in argument, oftner than any other except the 
word "Chivalry." "Surrendered!" Frank James 
"surrendered!" When did he "surrender," gentle- 

2^2 Addresses to The Jjiry. 

men, — when, I ask? When, as the last one of the 
band, he was left helpless and alone, and the messen- 
gers of the law were hot upon his track; when Jesse 
James "slept the sleep that knows no waking;" when 
Bill Ryan's pistols had been taken from him and he 
was held in the iron grasp of the law; when Jim Cum- 
mings had fled forever from the deathly vengeance of 
Jesse James; when Wood Hite, awfully shrouded, 
slumbered in his awful tomb, and the green grass of 
Kentucky was springing upon the grave of Clarence; 
when Dick Liddil and Charlie Ford had come in, and 
the oflficers, fully informed, were pressing swift upon 
his heels; when a ten-thousand-dollar reward, like a 
vengeful Nemesis, hovered about him by day, and 
stood like a horrid spectre beside his couch by night. 
And now, having fled from the terrors that beset his 
path, and given himself up, we must all join in one 
general acclaim, and he must be acquitted because he 
"surrendered." Now, that the storm of the people's 
wrath has blown so hotly across the crimson sea of 
murder upon which he launched his boat in iSSi, and 
the lightning played so fiercely, and the waves dashed 
so high, that like an affrighted, tempest-tossed pirate, 
he has rowed his way hither to the shores of civiliza- 
tion, we all forsooth should meet him on the beach, 
and with waving handkerchiefs and loud hurrahs con- 
duct him, like a returning Cassar, in triumph through 
the land; charming ladies should flock about him as if 
to kiss his hands, and make their lips the redder and 
their cheeks the rosier; counsel should only speak of 
him with becoming reverence; the judge \x\iOW the 

Addresses to The Jury. 273 

bench should twist the law to suit his case, and jurors 
in suppliant homage should bend their oaths and 
issue a pardon to him without leaving the box. In the 
name of justice, gentlemen, I beseech you to stand by 
your oaths ! You have no right to pardon this defend- 
ant, for the pardoning power, under our system of 
government, is lodged elsewhere than in the jury-box. 
Such appeals as counsel have made to you might in 
the earlier times, have been made with propriety to a 
Greek or Roman jury, for they could lawfully pardon 
one on trial; but what was proper performance of duty 
with them, might be perjury in an American jury. 

Again, you are most cunningly urged to acquit 
because the defendant was a soldier in the "lost cause." 
Your sympathies and prejudices are continually ap- 
pealed to in this behalf. In the opening statement for 
the defense, before they had even introduced their evi- 
dence, the counsel boldly told you, that you, your- 
selves, would remember some man, naming him, an 
ex-confederate, who at the close of the war returned 
from the army to your county here — as his client fain 
would have returned to his county — and was shot down 
like a dog. He even went away from your county, 
and named some returning confederate soldier who 
was similarly shot down on the streets of Lexington, 
Missouri. Governor Johnson once, or more, referred 
to the defendant as having been a "gallant soldier;" 
and any number of times you heard from them the ex- 
pression, "a soldier with Gen. Shelby." But the 
climax was reached when Col. Philips, in speaking of 


274 Addresses to The jfiiry, 

the surrender of the defendant, said that when he saw 
that Frank James had handed his pistols to the Gov- 
ernor of Missouri, he was surprised that the whole 
matter was closed up so quickly; was astonished that 
in twenty short years all the "bitter animosities of civil 
strife were ended;" in plain English, gentlemen, that 
the surrender of Frank James is to be taken as the end 
of the "lost cause" — that the "lost cause" wound up 
in pillage, plunder, train-robbery and murder. Gen- 
tlemen, when he said that, I thought I heard Rob't E. 
Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Sterling Price, and all the 
gallant host of southern chiefs who slumber by them, 
roll over in their graves and murmur "no," "no," 
"no." Yea, I thought I saw every confederate grave- 
yard throughout the south, yawn in an instant, and 
each and every sleeping soldier come forth in battle 
garb from his narrow home, and all shout out in clarion 
voices "no!" "no!" "no!" And even as they went 
back, like receding ghosts, I still heard them shouting, 
"no!" "no!" "no!" 

Col. Philips talks to you about the confederate 
flag, or, as he puts it, "Frank James' flag;" "my flag 
went up; Frank James' flag went down," and so on. 
Why unfurl the old confederate banner here? We 
hear the drums beating; we hear the hoofs of horses 
prancing; we see the sabers gleaming; we see the old 
banner floating in the sky, and beneath it we behold, 
dashing into shot and shell of battle, as honest, gallant, 
and conscientious a host as ever fought and bled 
on glory field ; and when at last — repulsed, rid- 
dled, conquered — they lost the day, vi'e see them lay 

Addresses to The jftiry, 275 

down their arms, and with tearful eyes, nearly twenty 
years ago, fold the tattered old banner and lay it away 
forever to rest, and each soldier depart for his home 
with the language of their poet laureate on his lips, — 

"Furl that banner, for 'tis weary, 
Round its staff 'tis drooping dreary; 
Furl it, fold it, let it rest." 

But it remained for one of Frank James' counsel, 
near a score of years thereafter, to unfurl that banner 
before a jury in a court of justice, and to ask them to 
heap insult, upon it and upon all who bore it, by be- 
smirching it with the fresh blood of McMillan and 
Westfall, and rolling up and hiding beneath its honest 
folds the paltry plunder obtained by hellish robbery 
and fiendish assassination at Winston. Will you acquit 
the defendant and do it? God forbid. 

Col. Philips. No such statements as you have 
been repeating were made direct, or indirect. 

Mr. Wallace. I took your language down, and 
appeal to every man who heard you, to say if I am not 
correct. You are interrupting for the sake of inter- 
ruption. You had four hours yourself and now you 
are growing all through my speech. You are like an 
old setting hen — cross both off and on the nest. 

Again, it is adroitly urged that the defendant ought 
not to be held strictly accountable for this crime, be- 
cause, if done by him, it was done in just revenge. 
Possibly some juror says, "there is something in that, 
too;" we will see. Gov. Johnson, you remember, 
said, "possibly the defendant could not live here and 
lead a quiet life after the war." I give his words in 

276 Addresses to The yury. 

substance. All through the speeches for the defense 
this idea was evolved in divers ways, namely, that the 
acts of depredation committed in Missouri since the 
war were done in pursuance of a just revenge, or such a 
revenge as would naturally cling to the human heart. 
The hardships of the defendant and the "bad treat- 
ment" of the family of Mrs, Samuels, could have been 
held up in glowing colors by Col. Philips and others 
for no other purpose. Of course they do not admit nor 
do I insinuate, that the defendant had anything to do 
with these acts. But by whomsoever committed, I 
deny that revenge had anything to do with it. Money, 
money, money has been the ruling motive every time. 
As so much has been said about this, go back in mem- 
ory over every daring bank-robbery and train-robbery 
committed, from the Alleghanies to the Rockies, since 
1 866, and see if former friend and foe have not both 
suffered ; and see if for every drop of human blood 
that has been shed, there has not been a corresponding 
shining dollar in the murderer's pocket. Oh, no, 
gentlemen, this is all a pretext. Money, not revenge 
is the demon that has wrought this woe. 

Lastly, and chiefly, you are urged to acquit on the, 
broad ground of chivalry. Here the pyrotechnics of 
the orators played in reddest splendor, and such ex- 
pressions as "no man with a spark of chivalry in his 
bosom," and a hundred kindred others, fell about you 
in greatest profusion. The man of chivalry, with his 
deeds of daring, was dressed up in shining, fiery ap- 
parel, and held up in glory to your enraptured view. 
Gentlemen, every man extols a noble, unselfish, daring 

Addresses to The Jury. 277 

deed; every man admires genuine bravery; and I be- 
lieve I can go in admiration along the line of chivalry 
as far as any man alive. Bring forth your soldier, 
stern, cruel, and powerful as an ancient, giant warrior; 
give him shield and helmet and two-edged sword, and 
in time of war lead him forth to battle, and let him 
deal death and slaughter right and left, till the air is full 
of moans and his track is thick with dead and dying, 
and before I have thought I have followed him with 
admiration at every step. In time of war equip your 
horsemen; give him torch and glittering blade, and let 
him dash into the land of the enemy, spreading fire and 
desolation along his way, and plunge mto the ranks of 
the foe until blood flows up to the bridle-bit; and when 
he is done, while I have condemned his horrid work, I 
have applauded his valor at every bound of his steed. 
We have all found within us a disposition to dwell in 
admiration on deeds of blood and daring, as when we 
hastily left the page of history, where we found re- 
corded the bloodless wonders of the Holy Land — where 
olive branches grew, and shepherds watching their 
flocks by night heard angels chanting in the skies 
"peace on earth, good-will to men;" and turned to 
dote on the blurred and bloody page of Rome, the 
military academy of the world, and ofttimes its human 
slaughter house ; to follow the victorious eagle soaring 
above the crushed-out lives and liberties of nations ; to 
stand with the noisy rabble and watch the triumphs of 
Roman generals returning from gory conquest; or sit 
and gaze on the dread arena where man and beast, or 
man and man, struggled in deadily combat to amuse 

278 Addresses to The Jury. 

the cruel crowd. But there is a length to which we 
can never go — a boundary line lying between bloodshed 
in war, or from necessity, on the one hand, and blood- 
shed for money on the other, which the human heart in 
all its admiration for chivalry will never cross. Seven- 
teen years have rolled away since the last alarum of 
war was sounded ; a great nation is intently engaged in 
honest toil, and the whole land, from one end to the 
other, is wrapped in the sweet embrace of peace. A 
pioneer axman, with the sweat dropping from his 
brow, is felling his tree in a western forest; and an 
idler, armed to the teeth, steals upon him, shoots him 
down and rifles his pockets for money. Or, as in the 
case now on trial, a noble train is steaming across a 
western prairie; it is a summer's night, and the hush of 
peace is bounded only by the silent stars above and the 
voiceless dewdrops on the earth beneath; a band of 
outlaws comes sneaking forth from the woods, attack 
the train, shoot down unarmed, unsuspecting men, all 
for a few miserable dollars in money — and before I am 
through the human heart and brain are exclaiming, 
"There is no chivalry there! that is murder — cold, 
cowardly, foul as hell !" Call such work bravery if 
you will till the tongue is tied, but there is no bravery, 
no chivalry about it! There is no chivalry that goes 
beyond the rule laid down by that immortal poet whom 
Frank James seeins to have read so much, and whose 
injunctions he should have heeded — 

"I dare do all that may become a man; 
Who dares do more is none." 

Addresses to The Jury. 279 

Gentleman of the jury, I have taxed your patience 
long enough and will close. However much you may 
sympathize with the defendant or his family, the evi- 
dence for the state is absolutely conclusive, and must 
sweep from your minds every doubt as to his guilt of 
this crime. I have striven to perform the task assigned 
me as best I could; you know your duty far better than 
I do. Some of you are young — in the spring-time of 
manhood, with the flowers of hope all budding about 
you, and looking to the future with bright and glorious 
anticipations. It is a matter of importance to you that 
your lives be spent in a land where life and property 
are protected. Some of you are in middle age; upon 
your farms and in the midst of your substance and your 
families, and surrounded by all those sacred and tender 
interests suggested by wife, children, home, fireside. 
It is a matter of vast importance to you that law and 
order may prevail, and that robbery and murder come 
not to you or yours, when sleeping beneath your roof 
or traveling upon our public highways. One or two of 
you, I sec, are growing old, and the silver locks upon 
your temples, like whited plumes on the slow-moving 
he:irse, remind you that your narrow home is not far 
away ; yours is the solemn duty of handing down in- 
tact to your children and children's children, those 
laws and liberties intrusted to you by those who went 
before. All of you, as citizens, and now as public serv- 
anrts, are intensely interested in the peace and pros- 
perity of a glorious state. The eyes of the world are 
upon you, and the sacred honor of Missouri is intrusted 
to your charge. 

28o Addresses to The y^try. 

Col. Philips tells you that he "loves the state of 
Missouri; loves her institutions; loves her people; 
loves her honor." Had not one older than myself, 
with all propriety, used the word "love," I do not 
know that I would have arrogated to myself so much 
of patriotism as to employ so strong a term; but now 
that the example has been set, I trust that I, who have 
been reared from boyhood on Missouri soil, may fol- 
low along and say that I, too, love my grand and glori- 
ous state ; love her forests and rolling prairies ; love 
her hills and flowing streams; love her free air and 
black old soil, yielding quick to the touch of man in 
abundant grain, fruit or flower; and most of all do I 
love her hospitable, big-hearted people, in whose midst 
even prowling robbers, as in this case — unknown ex- 
cept to a few, as such, thank Heaven ! — may find, if they 
choose, abundant food and shelter without a farthing's 
pay. What a magnificent state! — with her hundreds 
of thousands of happy, prosperous, intelligent, law- 
abiding inhabitants, and resources enough within her 
own boundaries, if tested, to supply their every want; 
with thousands of miles of railroads built largely with 
money received from the toil of her own sons, for the 
welcomed incoming and onward march of progress and 
civilization; with towering, cultured cities springing 
up on her borders, and fretted within with churches, 
colleges, and innumerable schoolhouses. While all 
this is true, I must also agree with Col. Philips that 
Missouri has been maligned, slandered, villified, as 
has no other state in the union. It is a proud fact that 
good laws are as firmly and impartially executed here 

Addresses to The Jury. 281 

as in any state in America, but common candor forces 
the admission that while the bad stories heralded abroad 
have been exaggerated a thousand fold, they are not to- 
tally '.vitho:7t foundation. A few desperate men have 
perpetrated on iNiissouri's soil as daring robbery and 
bloody murder as the world ever saw, and thus heaped 
odium on the people of the whole state. For you 
know by the evidence that the town of Winston in this 
state, was the scene of such a horror on July 15, 1881. 

You now have it in your power, on overwhelming 
testimony, to proclaim to justice and the world our 
people's disapprobation of this horrible crime. Alas! 
if v/ith Frank James' guilt as clear as noonday, you 
should — from sympathy or prejudice — find as these gen- 
tlemen are beseeching yon to find, what eternal stigma 
would you bring upon yourselves and your state. 
Gentlemen, hear me when I say it, let the court hear 
me, for after all that has been said, it is my duty to 
proclaim it in deliberate reply — and would that I had a 
voice so loud and shrill that it might resound in the 
remotest corners of your minds, and Heaven's most 
distant bounds might hear it — I say that a verdict of not 
guilty, on this overwhelming testimony, would bring 
greater shame upon the state than all the robberies, 
small and great, committed within her borders since 
1866. It were far better for us, that this defendant had 
never given himself up to the officers, and had never 
been tried. 

Col. Philips talked much about popular clamor, 
whose mighty storm he seemed so much to regret and 
fear, and he implored your bravery to stand against it. 

282 Addresses to The J7iry, 

So, no matter who the defendant is, or was, or who his 
friends may be, tve ask and implore you to stand 
bravely by your duty and your oaths given to your 
country and your God. 

Gentlemen, my task is ended. May the "God 
who ruleth in the armies of Heaven, and doeth his 
pleasure amongst all the inhabitants of the earth;" 
"who holdeth the hearts of all men in his hands, and 
turneth them as the rivers of water are turned;" may 
the "God of the widow and the fatherless" — of McMil- 
lan's wife and child — come into your hearts, and guide 
you to a righteous verdict in this case. I thank you for 
your kind attention. [Applause — suppressed by the 

Mr. Wallace closed his argument at 12:30 p. M. 
whereupon the jury retired and court adjourned until 
4 p. M., at which time the jury promptly returned the 
following verdict : 

"State of Missouri v. Frank James — murder: 
We, the jury in the above entitled cause, find the de- 
fendant not guilty as charged in the indictment. 
(Signed.) Wm. T. Richardson, Foreman." 


Counsel for the State. 


My name is James Andrew Liddil. I was born 
on September 15, 1S52, in Jackson county, Missouri. 
My father's name is James M. Liddil, and he lives in 
Vernon county, Missouri. I have known Jesse W. 
James since the year [873 or 1S73. I met him at Bob 
Hudspeth's, who lives about ten miles east of Indepen- 
dence, Missouri. I was working there at the time. 
Jesse came with Ben Morrow, whose father lives one 
and a half miles from Bob Hudspeth's. I think Ben 
Morrow was making his home at Bob Hudspeth's at 
this time. Within a few days after this I met Frank 
James, at Hudspeth's hou^e. They were both out- 
laws at this time, and were on the "dodge," though 
they did not appear to be very apprehensive. I lived 
at Bob Hudspeth's for nine years, off and on, begin- 
ning in 1-871 or 1872, During the first four or five 
years I saw Jesse and Frank James a great many times 
at Hudspeth's. He entertained them as friends, not 
through fear. During these four or five years I have 
seen them very often at Silas Hudspeth's, Bob's 
brothei'. He also entertained them as friends. They 
never told me, nor did I hear them tell any one that 
they were train robbers up to this date. Both the 
Hudspeths knew all this time, as I did myself and 
people generally, that they were dodging the officers. 

284 Dick Liddifs Confession. 

I never knew them to stay longer than one or two 
nights during these years. Clell Miller, Cole and Jim 
Younger, Tom McDaniels, use to frequent some of the 
above named houses. They were dodging the ofHcers, 
too, at this time. The first time I saw Jesse 
James was after the Northfield Bank robbery at Ben 
Morrow's, in Jackson county. I met Ben and he told 
me Jesse was to be at his house that evening, and 
had said he wanted to see me. About 2 o'clock 
I went to Ben's, and found Jesse in the yard getting 
some water out of a ban el. We had a little chat, and 
went out to where his horse was tied in the woods. 
He said he was broke, and wanted to make a raise, 
and wanted me to help him. I agreed. This was on 
Sunday. We separated then and went to meet at Ben 
Morrow's, next Wednesday evening. We met, 
according to appointment, and he told me he wanted 
to rob the C. & A., or Missouri Pacific train. He 
said that he had two other men besides himself. He 
said that he had come up from General Jo Shelby's, in 
Lafayette county, where he had been since seeing me 
on the preceding Sunday. We then went up to Jim 
Hulse's, getting there about i o'clock at night. We 
found Ed Miller there. Hulse entertained us as 
friends. We all three left the next night*. I had no 
arms at that time. Jesse had a pair of Colt's 45 calibre, 
and Ed Miller had a breech-loading shot gun, a pair 
of Smith & Wesson's 44 calibre, and an old-fashioned 
navy pistol. We then went from there to old Thomas 
Eddington's, not to the house, but hitched our horses 
out in the woods. Next morning I went up to get 

Dick LiddiVs Confession. 285 

some food for us. I told them for whom I wanted it. 
After eating breakfast, Ed Miller started over to Clay 
county for "father Grimes," (Wood Hite), -nd a man 
by the name Df Smith, who lives about five or six 
miles from Kearney, and about three or four miles 
from Mrs. Samuels. He was a single man, I learned 
Ed Miller was gone two days, and returned with 
Grimes and Smith. The former he got at Mrs. Sam- 
uels, his aunt's. During this time Jesse was hiding at 
Ben Morrow's, and I was at old man Eddington's 
Upon Miller's return I told him to hide out in the 
brush and I would go after Jesse, which I did. When 
Jesse and I returned. Smith had run off and left. He 
was afraid he would be killed. He thought Jesse was 
going to do it. After he left, we disbanded, — Grimes 
and Jesse going over to Mr. Ford's, near Richmond, 
Ray county, and Miller to see what had become of 
Smith. I stayed at Lamartine Hudspeth's. 

About three days after this Jesse and Grimes came 
back, and we three went back to Jim Hulse s. A 
little after this Ed Miller came up there also.. He said 
Smith had gone home and was playing off crazy, and 
had lost his pistol, hat, etc. The next morning I came 
up to Independence, took the train for Kansas City, 
and bought' me a pair of Smith & Wesson pistols, 
forty-foui calibre, from Blitz the pawnbroker in the 
Times Building. I went back to the train, mounted 
my horse and road to Independence, road down to- 
wards Dick Tolley's, and met Jesse and Ed Miller >n 
the road. We went off by the creek in the woods, 
where we found Grimes and Bill Ryan. Wa talked 

286 Dick LiddiVs Confession. 

the matter over, and determined to rob the C. & A. 
train at Glendale. We then broke up that night, 
Miller and I went to Tucker Basham's house, — I don't 
know where the others went, but we were all to meet 
at the schoolhouse, several miles from Glendale. I 
did not know at that time who Basham was, and we 
di'l not know his real name until after he was arrested. 
They called him "Arkansaw." The next evening, 
about sun down, Miller and I started for the school- 
house, and "Arkansaw" was to follow. The school- 
house is about one mile from Basham's house. We 
met at the schoolhouse, and all went to Glendale to- 
gether We arrived there between six and seven 
o'clock on October S, 1S79, and hitched our horses 
about thirty yards due south of the station. Basham, 
Ryan and myself captured Joe Molt's store, and about 
fifteen or twenty men who were in it; and Jesse James, 
Ed Miller and Wood Hite captured the depot. Jesse, 
who was the leader, then sent word to us to bring our 
prisoners over to the depot, which was done — and we 
put them all in the depot and guarded them. I think 
^-^sse tore the telegraph apparatus to pieces. Basham 
thought it was a sewing machine, and wanted him to 
stop, — as destroying it would do no good. \ little 
east of the depot, obstructions were placed upon the 
track f.o stop the train m case flagging failed. When 
the eastern bound train came in sight we made the 
operator signal the train to stop it. The train stopped. 
Our plan was this: I was to capture the engineer and 
fireman , Bill Ryan was to uncouple the express car 
from the train, so that we could after backing the train 

Dick LiddiFs Confession. 2S7 

run the engine forward again and leave the passenger 
coaches all to themselves. Basham and Hite were to 
keep the passengers on the train, while Jesse and Ed 
Miller robbed the express car. The cars had a .patent 
coupling, so that Ryan could not unfasten them ; so he 
helped Basham and Hite keep the passengers in. We 
carried our respective parts with the above exception. 
Fifteen or twenty shots were fired in all — most of them 
in the air, and a few of them at a man with a lantern 
at the rear part of the trian. Jesse said he fired three 
times at this man. Ed Miller got a sledge hammer 
out of the engine and struck the door of the express 
car several times before the express messenger would 
open it. They went in, and I think the messenger 
tried to get out and James struck him with his pistol. 
After the car was robbed, we were all standing on the 
depot platform together, when some one fired a shot 
from the train which went through the drawers and 
pants of Wood Hite, on the outside, between the ankle 
and knee of the right leg. Jesse remarked, "they are 
firing on us and we had better leave." We then went 
to our horses, carrying our plunder in a common meal 
sack. We mounted and rode about six or seven miles 
south, c a little old log cabin, uninhabited, where we 
dismounted, Ed Miller carried the plunder Here 
we divided the plunder equally, each getting about 
$1,025. There were a great many- bonds etc, and 
these were all destroyed. We left there all together, 
and retraced our steps several mil^s. When we began 
to break up, Ryan and Basham going home. We 
took Hite into the Kansas City road, ..bout half way be- 

2S8 Dick LiddiV s Confession. 

tween Independence and the bridge over the big Blue, 
and left him. He went to Kansas City, I think, to 
Charlie McBride's. I did not know what Grime's 
right name was until the next spring, when I learned it 
was Robert Woodson Hite, and that he lived near 
Adairsville, in Logan county, Kentucky. Jesse, Ed 
and myself rode down into the "Six Mile" country, 
after the robbery, and I left them in a thick woods, 
about three fourths of a mile from Bob Hudspeth's, 
and went on to Lamartine Hudspeth's. Lamartine 
lives about two miles from Bob's. From Thursday to 
Saturday, I carried them food. 

Saturday night, the time the big raid was made, 
Jesse and Ed Miller left about lo o'clock in the direc- 
tion of Kansas City ; and Jesse afterward said that 
some time during the next day, (Sunday) they saw 
members of the raiding party returning to Kansas City. 
For two or three weeks after this I continued to stay in 
"Six Mile," and then left for Ft. Scott, where I 
hauled coal for about four months. A few days after 
going toward Kansas City, Ed went to George B. 
Kite's, near Adairville, Kentucky, and Jesse went to 
Nashville, Tennesse, where his wife was then living. 
Frank James and his wife were also living here at this 
time. After leaving Ft. Scott, I went to Carthage, 
Missouri, where I teamed it for about two months- 
having two teams. Sam Strickland, colored, was with 
me nearly all of this time. From there I came to Jack- 
son county, and stopped at McCraws, where I learned 
that officers had been looking for me ever since I left 
Jackson county. I sent McCraw down to Carthage 

Dick LiddiV s Cotzfession. 289^ 

after Mattie Collins, Strickland and m^ teams, and 
they drove them up. I dodged around from one place 
tc another, staying at Lamartine Hudspeth's, princi- 
pally. The same day that they returned from Car- 
ihage with the teams, Ed Lee, now deputy marshal 
under Murphy, and then constable of Osage township, 
got after me at Lake City, and we had a run of about 
two and a half miles. I was riding a horse of Bob 
Hudspeth's, which I had down to Lake City for the 
purpose of running a race. I had ridden him two 
heats, before the chase began, I was unarmed at the 
time. Lee fired two shots at me ; but I rode hard 
straight to Hudspeth's, put the horse in the stable, 
struck out on foot, and next day went to Ben Morrow's, 
who knew I was dodging the officers, and bought a 
horse from him in a trade. I gave him for it one of 
my wagon horses and a set of harness, all valued at 
$125. I then rode to Jasper county, Missouri, where 
I stopped at the house of a man named Johnnie Lohr, 
a German, for whom I worked by the month. I stayed 
there about a month. While at Ft. Scott and Carthage 
I went by my right name, but at Lohr's I went by the 
name of James Anderson. I came back on horseback 
to Jackson county, and went to the widow Broughton's, 
who lives near the Hudspeths. I stayed there about 
one day, and went from there to Mrs. Samuels, near 
Kearney in Clay county, Missouri. I went to see Ed 
Miller, as Johnnie Samuels had come over and told me 
he was there. I crossed the river at Blue Mills. Upon 
arriving, I made myself known to Mrs. Samuels. I 

290 Dick Liddir s Confessiotz. 

had been there but a few minutes when Jesse James 
came in He had been there several days. While I 
was there, I sold him one of my horses, a set of har- 
ness and a wagon for $125. He never paid me, how- 
ever until he robbed the paymaster at Mussel Shoals, 
Alabama. We stayed about two days at Mrs. Samuels, 
and then he and I went over to Mrs. Bolton's, about 
one and one half miles east of Richmond. This is the 
same place where Sheriff Timberlake and Commis- 
sioner Craig made the raid, in the early part of Janu- 
ary, 1S82. We found there Charlie Ford, "Cap" 
Ford, Mrs. Bolton and the children. They knew 
Jesse, but did not know me. We stayed there a day 
and night, and left for Bill Ryan's, in Jackson county, 
crossing at Blue Mills. We found Bill Ryan at home, 
and left next night, taking him with us. We crossed 
through the state to Cape Girardeau, where 'we crossed 
the Missouri river and went directly to young George 
Hite's, in Logan county, Kentucky. He was living at 
the house of his father, George B. Hite, where Jeff 
Hite was afterward arrested. 

We were on the road about three weeks, and I did 
not see any friends en route We found Grimes there, 
and learned for the first time his real name — Robert 
Woodson Hite. Jeff (Clarence) Hite was there also. 
We stayed there a couple of days, and leaving Bill 
Ryan there Jesse and I went to Nashville, Tennessee. 
From there we went to Jesse's house, which was about 
three miles from Nashville, on the Hyatt Ferry Pike, 
and a quarter of a mile from the Cumberland river. 
Jesse was going under the name of J. D Howard, and 

DickLiddiPs Confession. 291 

he pretended to be a sporting man. His wife, son and 
daughter were living there as was Frank James, his 
wife and their little son. Frank was going by the name 
of B. J. Woodson. His little son, who was then about 
three years old, was named Robert. Jesse's son was 
seven years old, and named Tim ; and his daughter was 
three years old and named Mary. Frank's wife was 
named Fannie, and Jesse's wife was called Josie. Frank 
was engaged at the time in hauling saw-logs. We all 
went up to Nashville very frequently, and made no 
attempt at concealment, apprehending no special dan- 
ger. After remaining there about two weeks, Jesse 
and myself went back to Hite's, where we had left Bill 
Ryan. Young Joe Hite knew we were dodging the 
officers ; but he entertained us as friends, and not 
because he was intimidated. During the day we kept 
hid in the woods, and at night we slept in the house. 
Old man, George B. Hite, brought food to us in the 
woods oftener than anybody else. Clarence and Wood 
Hite brought it when their father did not. Bill Ryan 
was going under the name of Thomas Hill. The last 
time we arrived in the night and left the same night, 
taking Bill Ryan with us. We started to rob the Mam- 
moth Cave stage. It rained so hard, however, that we 
gave up the idea after getting within one mile and a 
half of the place, and we came back to Hite's again. 
We stayed in the woods that night, and next morning I 
left for Jesse's place, near Nashville, leaving Bill Ryan 
and Jesse, who said they would knock ai'ound the coun- 
try and see what they could rob. In about ten days 
Jesse came home and told me that he and Bill Ryan 

292 Dick LiddiVs Confession. 

had robbed the Mammoth Cave stages. This was, I 
think, in the latter part of August, 18S0, or Septem 
ber 7. The stages were robbed within an hour of each 
other. A lawyer by the name of R. H. Roundtree, 
Lebanon, Kentucky lost a handsome gold watcl 
Jesse got the watch and the key to it. On the key was 
inscribed the name of "J. Proctor Knott and Mr. Round- 
tree." Jesse has the watch yet. Miss Lizzie Round- 
tree lost a fine diamond ring, which Jesse James' wife 
has had made smaller for her finger, and she wears it 

Jesse also got from her another plain gold ring 
which he gave to Nellie Hite, sister of Clarence Hite. 
Bill Ryan got one silver watch and a small gold chain. 
Jesse got another silver watch which he gave me. 
This watch I traded to Frank James for a gold watch 
and chain, I giving a good horse to boot. This gold 
watch and chain I gave to Mattie. They got about 
$30 in cash which was divided equally between Ryan 
and Jesse. Bill Ryan afterward pawned the silver 
watch he got in this robbery to Dick Talley for a sad- 
dle. These silver watches, I learn from book accounts, 
belonged, one to W. G. Welsh, Pittsburg, and the other 
don't know to whom. When Jesse James come home af- 
ter this robbery, he left Bill Ryan up at Hites again. Af- 
ter remaining about a week Jesse and Frank left for Hites 
in order to get Bill Ryan ; and all three to go up into Ken- 
tucky to rob a store about sixty miles from Adairsville. 
Jesse road horse-back and I went on the train to Spring- 
field and walked out to Hites. The following night, 
Clarence (Jelf) Hite and I went up to Adairsville for 


Dick LiddiV s Confession. 293 

the purpose of borrowing somebodys horse for an in- 
definite length of time. We found it hitched to Dr. 
Hendricks hitching post in front of his office. I held 
Clarence's horse while he got down and unhitched the 
animal. It belonged to young Simmons, whom I after- 
ward learned was visiting the Doctors daughter. This 
mare was a jet-black one, with four white feet — was a 
fine one. We went back to Hites, and same night 
Ryan, Jesse and I started for the store — were two days 
getting there. Tuesday morning the fifteenth day of 
September, 1S80, I left Jesse and Ryan in the woods, 
and went to John Davey's store, can't recall the name of 
the town. It was some railroad station where they were 
mining coal, to reconnoiter. Came back in a short 
time and reported, and then went down together. I 
was to guard the door and not let any one out, and 
Ryan and Jesse were to rob the safe. We carried out 
the programme, but only got $4.23, and a gold watch 
and chain from Davey. The watch I pawned with a 
friend in Jackson county, Missouri, and can get it any 
time. Ryan got the chain ; don't know what he did 
with it. This took place between 9 and lo o'clock, 
A. M. We left and went across the county on a bee 
line for Kite's. Got there the following night. We 
told old man George B. Kite, Clarence Kite and Wood 
Hite where we had been and what we had done. None 
of them made any objections to our staying around them. 
The horse that we got in Adairsville was put in a stall 
at a camp meeting ground close to Adairsville for the 
purpose of letting the o\\ ner find her — which was done. 
In a day or two Clarence Hite took Bill Ryan to Nash- 

294 Dick LiddiV s Confession. 

ville in a buggy and left on a train for Jackson county, 
Missouri; we intending to follow soon. Jesse and I 
stayed at Hite's for a few days and rode down to his, 
(Jesse's) house near Nashville — remaining there about 
two week's attending the races at Nashville and then 
went to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend the races. When 
they were over, came back to Nashville, stayed three 
or four days, and then Jesse and I took the train 
for St. Louis; from there to Richmond, Ray county. 
Before leaving, Jesse took his family to Nashville 
where they stopped at a boarding house. Just after 
Ryan had left for Kentucky, and while Jesse and I were 
still at Hite's, we concluded to go down and rob the 
Gallatin stage. On the way down overtook two 
young men and attempted to rob them and had a shoot- 
ing scrape. One man saw me drawing my pistol, 
when he drew his first and shot at Jesse, who was a 
little ahead of him. The other man started to draw 
his when I shot him through the right leg. He then 
turned and galloped off. The other one and Jesse ex- 
changed a few shots, when Jesse took to the woods. 
My horse had run about fifty yards when I turned and 
the young man and I were closing in, he fired his last 
shot and turned and galloped off. Jesse fired two shots 
at him from the woods, and four shots before running 
to the woods. I shot three times. We didn't get any 
money this time. We went back to Hite's and from 
there to Nashville as I have before stated. After Jesse 
and I had reached Richmond, we went out to Mrs. 
Boltons. Met Jim Cummings there ; remained a day 
and night, and went up in Clay county, to Mrs. Sam- 

Dick LiddiVs Confession. 295 

uel's. We were preparing for anohter strike. Put up 
at the house and locked our horses in the stable ; stayed 
there two days and nights, when I left and rode to 
Bob Hedspeths crossing at Missouri City; stayed all 
night and went from there to Bill Ryan's. Went to 
tell Bill not to go away, as Jesse and Cummings would 
be over in a few days. Found him at home. Stayed 
until Jesse and Cummings came over — they rode over 
and crossed the river at Leavenworth (bridge). We 
then all started back to Nashville on horse back, 
having given up the idea to make a raid. Down on 
Iron Mountain road I took the train and the other 
boys led my horse. Got to Nashville about December, 
I, 1880. 

Before starting back to Tennessee this time Jim 
Cummings and I took a horse a piece from a man by 
the name of Duvall who lives five or six miles from 
Richmond, Missouri. Charlie Ford told us where they 
were. These were the horses Jesse and Jim Cummings 
rode over to Bill Ryan's. Jesse and Bill Ryan took 
horses from men near Independence. After getting to 
Nashville I traded my horse to Frank James for the 
watch, as I have stated. Jim Cummings sold his 
through a man who stays at H. H. H. Hammer & Co. 
livery stable. Bill Ryan sold his at same place and 
Jesse sold his at Maysville, Kentucky, to some one. 
Cummings went by the name of Wilson. Just after 
getting back Jesse rented a house over in east Nashville 
(Edgefield) and took his family and Ryan and Cum- 
mings to live with him. I stayed out at Frank's until 
just before the Mussel Shoals robbery. Frank moved 

296 Dick LiddiV s Confession. 

to Edgefield, near to where Jesse was living, and I 
went with him. During this time — about three months 
— ^Jesse, Cummings and Ryan made frequent trips 
about the county — up to Donny Fences' and other 
places. While living at Edgefield Jesse tried to get us 
to agree to have Cummings killed. I would not agree 
to this and Cummings left and we, fearing that he 
would inform on us, scattered. I went to Kite's. 
Jesse's family moved over to Frank's house and Frank, 
Jesse and Bill Ryan left for Alabama, where they 
robbed the United States paymaster. Smith, at Mussells 
Shoals. They got $5,200, about, and a pistol. This 
robbery took place about ten days after we left 
Edgefield. I did not know anything about it until after 
Bill Ryan's capture. After the robbery the three came 
straight back to Nashville and Jesse came on up to 
Kite's after me and then rode back to Nashville. Clar- 
ence drove me to Springfield and went down to Nash- 
ville on train with me. 


Jesse and I stayed in Nelson county about a week 
longer and then rode to Louisville, Jesse riding a sorrel 
horse he had stolen from a man in Nashville and had 
left with Donny Pence. This horse was stolen before 
Ryan's capture a little while and I rode the one I had 
gotten from near Adairsville. This was a brown. We 
left these horses at a livery stable near the center of the 
city, fronting east, I think, and told the proprietor to 
keep them until we called. Kave never called yet- 
When I arrived next morning at Mrs. Samuels' 
Jesse was absent. Frank and Wo6d were there and 

Dick LiddiV s Confession, 297 

Clarence did not arrive until late in the evening. 
The first thing Frank wanted was for me to go with 
him up in Platte county and get horses for him 
and Wood. We went and were gone four or 
five days but did not find any good horses and 
did not get any. When we got back Jesse had arrived. 
We all stayed in the house. Our horses — that is Jesse's 
and mine, were kept in the stable. In three or four 
days Wood and I took the evening train at Kearney; 
went to Liberty and got two horses saddled and hitched 
to a rack near the Athens House ; rode them back to 
Mrs. Samuels'. She knew we were going to Liberty 
after the horses. The horses that we got in Liberty 
were turned loose near Richmond, Missouri, by Frank 
and Wood, Frank keeping one of the saddles, and the 
other, not being much account, was thrown away. He 
and Wood stole two other horses near that point and 
rode them up to the old lady's. Frank still was not 
satisfied with his mount so he and Wood took another 
tour way up in Platte county but did not get a horse. 
When they got back Frank and I started out after a 
couple of horses. We went down to Mrs. Bolton's and 
next night stayed on Elk Horn, between Kearney and 
Richmond ; got a dark bay horse from a man by name 
of Frazier, and a mare from a man who lives about a 
a mile further toward Richmond and about ten 
miles from that place ; turned the other two horses loose 
and rode the new ones back to Mrs. Samuels'. All 
five of us were then there. About the next night Jesse, 
Clarence and I went over to a man's by the name of 
Mathews who lives about one mile from Kearney and 

298 Dick LiddiV s Confession. 

got his sorrel horse with bald face and white legs. That 
night we all stayed out in the woods near the old lady's 
with our horses and the following night we all started 
out in the direction of Winston for the purpose of rob- 
bing a train. 

* * * * *.* * * « 

We dismounted at the public spring at Inde- 
pendence and sent back the horses by the boy named 
Andy, (Andy Ryan). All came according to agree- 
ment to meet the other boys at the wagon bridge south 
of Independence, about one and one fourth miles down 
the Chicago & Alton railroad. When we reached it 
we found Jesse, Frank, Charlie and Wood. Our ob- 
ject in meeting was to perfect arrangements for robbing 
another train. We went up and examined the Missouri 
Pacific railroad that night and stayed in the woods 
about one mile from Blue Tank. We prowled around 
here for several days and finally concluded to rob the 
Missouri Pacific railway train eastern bound. This 
was Friday night — Frank and Jesse about sundown, 
unknown to us, went out, ostensibly for the purpose of 
hunting railway ties with which to obstruct the track, 
and while absent fastened a piece of iron on a rail for 
the purpose of ditching the train. This plan did not 
suit the balance of us but as the train was almost due 
not much was said. The train came along and ran 
right over the iron and passed along safely. The next 
night we went to take the Chicago & Alton about three 
miles west of Glendale but we were very tired and 
gave up this idea. The train came along and it was 
guarded by men whom all plainly saw standing on the 

Dick LiddiV s Confession. 299 

platform. We then came up near Independence and 
disbanded. Wood and I went to Mrs. Bolton's, cross- 
ing in a skiff near Lexington, the other four came back 
to Kansas City. We stayed down there about two 
weeks or more when Jesse sent us word by Charlie 
Ford to meet him right away at same place as our first 
meeting near Independence. Charlie had beeti going 
backward and forward between Richmond and Kansas 

Charlie went back on train and Wood and I went 
to appointed place crossing at Napoleon after being 
at the rendezvous. 

**** * * * *** 

While staying at Mrs. Bolton's during this time 
Charlie Ford and I robbed the stage that runs between 
Excelsior Springs and Vibbard. There was in it a 
merchant from Vibbard .named Gant and the driver. 
Charlie made them stand and I made them deliver. 
We got about $13 from the merchant and about $17 
from the driver. Charlie had on a mask but I had 
none. This took place between sundown and dark. 
We went back to Mrs. Bolton's from there. About a 
week after this Charlie and Bob Ford, Wood Hite and 
myself robbed the stage going from the short line depot 
and Lexington. It was down in Ray county, Missouri, 
All were masked. It occurred about dark. A mover 
first came along and found us hid and wanted to know 
what it meant; we explained the situation to him by 
capturing him and taking $20 of his hard earnings. In 
about five minutes the stage came along. There were 

300 Dick LiddiVs Confession. 

eight passengers I think in it, two of them women. 
Bob and Wood made them stand and Charlie and I 
robbed them. We made the men get out. Did not 
molest the women. We got about $200 in money, 
"one gold watch and chain," "one nickel plated watch 
and gold chain," one silver watch, no chain" and one 
pocket knife. Wood Hite got one of the watches (the 
silver) which he afterward sold to me and I gave it to' 
Bob Ford and he has it yet. Bob got the nickel plated 
watch and chain. Wood afterward won or bought it 
from him and he gave it to "Cap" who has it now. 
The gold watch and chain fell to my lot. I gave it to 
Ida Bolton. She has it yet. Hite got the knife and 
lost it. We went back to Mrs. Bolton's after the rob- 
bery. Found Charlie Ford and afterward Frank 
came and we went down to within about one mile of old 
man Ralston' s where we met Jesse and Clarence. 

We then went down to Chicago & Alton road 
about a half mile south of Doc Reeds. Stayed there all 
night and next day. The following night we went up 
to within two or three hundred yards of old man 
Ralstons, where we met Frank who had left us for the 
purpose of getting provisions. He had a basket full, 
suppose he got it at his father-in-law, Ralston. We 
went from there the same night to about three miles of 
Glendale. Laid in the brush all next day, I went 
down to the section house and got some bread and raw 
meat. That night we robbed the Chicago & Alton 
Western bound train. It was the night of Wednesday 
the seventh of September, 1S81. This was called the 
Blue Cut Robbery. Our programme was this : Wood 

Dick LiddiVs Confession. 301 

and Charlie Ford were to stop the train by swinging a 
red light, this was an ordinary lantern with a red piece 
„Gf flannel tied around it. We had piled rocks upon 
the track so as to obstruct it. After the train had 
■stopped, Charlie and Wood were to capture the en- 
gineer and fireman and then rob the express car. Jesse 
and Frank were on one side of the track upon the bank 
and Frank and myself were on the other side, besides 
our pistols, I had a breech loading shot gun, and 
Frank had a Winchester rifle, Jesse had a breech load- 
ing shot gun, and Clarence had a Winchester rifle. 
The train came along in due time and was stopped by 
the lantern and the fireman and engineer captured. 
The fireman was made to take his sledge-hammer and 
attempt to beat down the door to the express car. After 
several blows the messenger opened it. Wood and 
Charlie went in and robbed the safe, Charlie struck the 
messenger several times with his pistol and made him 
open the safe. Very little was found in the safe and 
Jesse suggested robbing the passengers. Charlie and 
Wood commenced at front of the train. Wood car- 
rying the bag and Charlie making the passengers 
disgorge. Clarence stood at door on platform. Jesse 
and I at one time were on the rear car. This was 
after the passengers had been robbed, Frank got on 
one oi the forward coaches. Just after the train stopped 
some one started down the track with a lantern. We 
fired a number of shots after him, but when told he 
was going to flag the freight train we stopped shoot- 
ing. There was no one participating in this robbery ex- 
cept we six. There was no one in sight when we 

302 Dick LiddiVs Confession. 

stopped the train besides ourselves. Before the train 
started again we all had started toward Independence. 
About half a mile or more we stopped in a woods and di- 
vided the booty. This consisted of a "breast pin and set 
of earrings, five watches, two with and three without 
chains I think ; two rings, one a plain gold ring and one 
with a set in it, and some money. Everything in the 
jewelry line was put up and sold to the highest bid- 
der, except these two rings Jesse kept one of these and 
I kept the other. The prices bid were turned into the 
common fund as so much cash and then this fund was 
divided equally between the six. All got about $i6o 
apiece — as near as I can now remember. Jesse got 
one of the watches, a nickel plated watch. Wood Hite 
got a gold watch belonging to the messenger. Charlie 
Ford got two — a gold and a silver one. Don't know 
what disposition he made of them. Clarence got a sil- 
ver one. Jesse said he throwed his ring away and I 
gave mine to Mrs. Bolton. After the division Wood 
and I started to Blue Mills Ferry with the intention of 
going to Mrs. Bolton's and the other four started to 
Kansas City. Wood and I came near running into 
some officers at Blue Mills Ferry, but we dodged out 
into the woods. There we separated, Wood went 
down to cross the river near Sibley and went to Mrs. 
Bolton's and I went down to Ben Morrows. Got 
there in the morning after staying out in the brush 
near by till night. 

I told him about the robbery, told him I was in it. I 
also told him that Frank, Jesse, Wood Hite and 
Clarence, and a man by the name of Johnson from 

Dick LiddiVs Confession. 303 

Texas was in it. I did not wish to tell on Charlie 
Ford is the reason I gave him this alias. Took break- 
fast with Morrow, and stayed around, then hid in the 
woods and stable two days and two nights. Morrow 
knew where I was all the time and furnished me food — 
all that I got. He brought me a couple of bottles of 
whiskey, also. When I left he told me where I could 
get a skiff to cross the river. I did not go there, how- 
ever, but went to Sibley and crossed over in a skiff that 
I cut loose from the bank and usefJ. After crossing 
I went to Mrs. Bolton's. After being there a couple 
of weeks Charlie Ford brought us word from Jesse that 
he wanted us to go to Kentucky, and rob the Louisville 
and Nashville road. Wood and I then took the train 
at Richmond and sent word to Jesse v^e would meet 
him at old man Hites near Adairsville, Kentucky. We 
arrived at Mr. Hites and after being there about four 
days. Wood and 1 had a shooting scrape and I took the 
train and came back to Mrs. Bolton's, Ray county, 
Missouri. Had been back only two or three nights 
when Clarence,^ Frank and Charlie Ford came in. 
They stayed a day and night and started for Kentucky, 
wanting me to go with them. I declined to do so. 
Remained there two or three weeks, and then Bob 
Ford and I crossed over at Missouri City into Jackson 
county. We went to McGraws and stayed about a 
week. He was out with a threshing machine while I 
was there. Did not see him but once while there. We 
then went to Mrs. Bolton's, crossing below Sibley in a 
skiff. Arrived there Saturday night, December 3, 
x88i. Next morning I came down to breakfast, and 

304 Dick Liddirs Confession. 

Wood Hite who had come from Kentucky three or 
four days before was there, and Bob Ford came down 
a few minutes afterward. When he first came in he 
spoke to me, and I told him I did not want him to 
speak to me as he had accused me of stealing $100 
at the divide in the Blue Cut robbery. Told him he 
lied; said he could prove it by Mrs. Bolton, and I 
wanted him to prove it. He then denied ever saying 
anything of the kind. I told him he did, and we both 
commenced drawing our pistols. We fired about the 
same time. He shot me through the right leg between 
the knee and hip and I shot him through the right arm. 
He fired four times at me and I five times at him, and 
then snapped another barrel at him. I drew my other 
pistol when he commenced falling. Bob Ford fired 
one shot at him. Did not know this until afterward 
when he exhibited the empty chamber. The wound 
that killed Hite was through the head. It struck him 
about two inches above the right eye and came out in 
front and a little above the left ear. Bob claimed that 
his shot was the fatal one. Hite lived fifteen or twenty 
minutes but did not speak. We carried him upstairs, 
and that night of December 4th "Cap" and Bob dug a 
grave in the woods about a half mile from the house 
and buried him. My leg was too sore to help. Did not 
use a cofiin. I never had a physician dress my wound 
or give it any attention until after I surrendered. On 
the night of Thursday, the twenty-ninth of December, 
Jesse and Charlie Ford came down to Mrs. Bolton's, 
where I had been since being wounded and tried to get 
me to go with them. They claimed to have come from 

From photo taken in 1882. 

Dick LiddiVs Confession. 


Nebraska. I declined to go. I mistrusted Jesse wanted 
to kill me and so left. This was on Saturday night, 
December 31, 18S1. Jesse and Charlie left the next 
night for the old lady's I was told. This was the last 
time I ever saw him, and I never have seen Charlie 
Ford since. After the raid on Mrs. Bolton's house 
early in January, 1S83, I concluded to surrender. 
Negotiations to that effect were made, and on the 
night of January 24, 18S2, by directions of Gov. 
Thos. T. Crittenden I surrendered to James R. Tim- 
berlake, sheriff of Clay county, Missouri. Dick Liddil 
is a nickname for me. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this twenty- 
ninth day of March, 1882. 

Henry H. Craig, 
Police Commissioner, Kansas City, Mo. 


Made a short time before his death, in the War- 
den's office of the state penitentiary at Jefferson City, 
Missouri, in the presence of Gov. T. T. Crittenden, 
H. H. Craig and Sheriff Timberlake. 


1 met Jesse and Frank James about ten years ago, 
just after the war. They came to our house and staid 
two or three months. My first act of lawlessness was 
at Winston, Missouri. I came to Missouri the first of 
May, 1884. I was with Jesse's wife. We came from 
Nelson county, Kentucky. She was staying at Donny 
Pence's. He was sheriff of the county. vShe had been 
staying there about one month. Jesse and Frank were 
in Nelson county at the time. Frank was at Aleck 
Sears', and Jesse and Dick Liddil were at Bob Hall's. 
Jesse staid at Pence's several nights while I was there. 
Before 1 got there (Donny Pence's) they staid at Dock 
Hoskin's. The latter lived about twelve miles from 
Pence's. Hall lived about one and a half miles from- 
Pence's. Myself, Jesse's wife and her two children 
came on to Kansas City, We left Pence's the last of 
April (18S1). Put up at the Pacific house, Louisville. 
She was registered as Mrs. Jackson, or Wilson, and 

Clarence Hite's Confession. ^07 

two children, Bowling Green, Kentucky. I registered 
as C. Browler, Bowling Green, Kentucky. When we 
reached Kansas City we stopped at Charlie McBride's, 
on seventeenth street, between Oak and McGee. Got 
there Saturday night. Monday I went over to Mrs. 
Samuels' and she came over to see Jesse's wife. 
I staid over there about one week, when Jesse and 
Liddil came. They staid there off and on till the last 
of July, 1S81. The Winston robbery was on July 15, 
1881. Frank arrived at Mrs. Samuels' one week after 
Jesse and Dick Liddil did. No one came with Frank. 
He remained there until the robbery. 

When the robbery was planned at Mrs. Samuels', 
there were present Jesse James, Frank James, Dick 
Liddil, my brother, Robert Woodson Hite, and myself. 
We five were the only ones engaged in the robbery. 
I do not know where my brother is now. I last saw 
him in ^ast November, at home. His name is Robert 
Woodson Hite. He left home without saying where he 
was going. 

We robbed the train about one month after the 
robbery was planned. We went there once before to 
do it, but all got wringing wet, and Jesse caught the 
toothache out in the woods, and his face swelled up so 
he could hardly see, and we gave it up for the time 
being, and he (Jesse) got a man who lived one half 
mile from the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad to take 
him to Hamilton in a buggy. He had a large flock of 
sheep, and his house was a long way from the fence. 
Jesse took the train at Hamilton and came on to Kan- 
sas City. Frank helped him in the buggy. To Ham- 

308 Clarence Hue's Confession. 

ilton was about three miles. As you go east the man 
lived on the right-hand side. Jesse told me he paid 
the man $1.50 to haul him to town. When the party 
first left Mrs. Samuels', Jesse, Frank, Dick Liddil and 
my brother rode down to Ray county to Mrs. Bolton's, 
and I came on to Kansas City to get some newspapers 
and cartridges. I got them and went down to Ray 
county to Mrs. Bolton's. I got there one night and 
left there next morning for Richmond, Missouri, and 
then left for Plattsburg, Missouri. Frank, Jesse, Dick 
and my brother went on horse-back to Gallatin. I 
went to Plattsburg to get a bill changed. I then took 
the Rock Island train for Gallatin. We all then went 
out in the woods and had a talk. They got on their 
horses and rode to Kidder and I got on the train and 
went there. I went on the train because I had no 
horse. When the party was at Mrs. Boltons' her three 
children and Charles Ford, Captain Ford, Robert 
Ford, and another Ford, a great big fellow, were 
there. Neither the Ford boys nor Dr. Samuels or his 
wife or their son knew what was brewing when the 
party was at Gallatin, they stayed out in the woods. 
After Jesse was put on the cars I rode his horse and 
Frank and Dick led my brother's. We went down 
near Mirable, and went from thence to Mrs. Samuels' 
and Dick and Frank went from tliere to Mrs. Bolton's. 
My brother got on the train and went to Mrs. Samuels'. 
A week or so afterward Jesse wrote to John Sam- 
uels to bring his horse over to Kansas City. He 
(Samuels) did so the following Sunday. He received 
the letter the preceding Saturday. Jesse and his wife 

Clarence Hite's Confession. 309 

were keeping house in Kansas City. I went over to 
Kansas City on the fourth of July, 18S1 (on Monday 
after Samuels took the horse over). Jesse rode over 
to Mrs. Samuels on the night of July 4, and John 
Samuels and myself came back that night. Jesse said 
he crossed on the ferry boat at Kansas City. He said he 
came by some newspaper office and read the Garfield 
bulletins. (The details of a watch presentation omitted 

by Mr. Craig.) He said he gave a watch. A 

few days after Jesse arrived at Mrs. Samuels', Frank 
and Dick came up from Ray county. They got there 
Wednesday night. We all remained there about one 
week. Frank and Dick went back to Mrs. Bolton's 
before going to Winston. 

The gang came back again to Mrs. Samuels' before 
gomg to Winston. It is about thirty-five or forty miles 
from Mrs. Samuels' to Winston. When we started to 
Wmston we left on the Sunday night before the rob- 
bery, about 8 o'clock. We went above Plattsburg, 
about SIX miles,. the first night. A few miles from Mrs. 
Samuels' we met a man riding a whitish horse, whom 
Jesse said he knew, named Pence. 

We arrived at the point above Plattsburg at day- 
light. We laid down in the woods and went to sleep. 
We slept till about sunrise. We then crossed the Rock 
Island road and went close to a little town, and Dick 
and myself went in and bought some candy and stuff 
Dick had a shoe put on his horse. This was on Mon- 
day mornmg. The rest went on outside of town and 
stopped. We went through the edge of Cameron and 
iTank, my brother and myself went up to an oat field, 

3IO Clarence Hite^s Confession. 

pulled down some shocks and laid down, while Jesse 
and Dick went into town and bought some sausage, 
etc., and looked at the Rock Island train. We three 
slept until daylight. Jesse and Dick came and waked 
us up about 1 1 o'clock, and they went past us down 
into the woods. 

We then went on close to Cameron and staid in 
the woods till late in the evening and then went on up 
to Winston. Frank and myself went on through to 
Winston, and the rest came on afterward. We all went 
down in some woods below Winston, and that night 
(Tuesday) Frank and myself went back to Winston 
and got something to eat. We went back then to where 
the rest were and slept till morning. Frank and myself 
then went above Winston, about five miles northeast, 
and had our horses shod. We all then went up near 
Cameron, intending to rob the train there, but there were 
too many people got on, and we went back in the woods, 
and slept all night (thirteenth). Got up before sunrise 
(fourteenth). We went to Gallatin. That night we 
intended to rob the train at Gallatin, but we hitched our 
horses too far away, and the train passed. Friday morning 
we got up about 9 o'clock. Frank and myself went 
together; Jesse and my brother went together, and Dick 
by himself. We went to Winston. Thursday night 
we stayed about one and a half miles from Gallatin. 
We got to Winston about sundown. Went into town 
after hitching our horses three quarters of a mile out in 
the woods east of Winston. Horses were hitched on the 
south side of the road. The horse I was riding Jesse 
and Dick got from some one near Kearney. They 

Clarence Hite' s Confession. 311 

stole it on Sunday night. Jesse was riding a bay horse 
belonging to John Samuels. Frank was riding a little 
bay mare belonging to a man in Ray county. Dick 
Liddil was riding a chestnut sorrel horse that he bought 
of Lamartine Hudspeth and sold back again. My 
brother was riding a bay horse about nine years old 
that Frank and Dick got near Vibbard, in Ray county. 
We were at Winston when the train came along. 
Jesse was our captain, our relations were as follows: 
Frank James, Jesse James and my brother got on the 
smoking-car, and Dick and myself got on the front 
platform of the express car. The understanding was 
that Dick and myself, as soon as Jesse or Frank should 
pull the bell rope, were to climb over the coal and pull 
down on the engineer and fireman and make them obey 
orders. As soon as they rang the bell, which was before 
we reached the bridge we climbed over the coal and 
made them stop the train. The understanding was that 
we were to stop the train anyway before reaching the 
bridge. Jesse, Frank and Wood were to go in and rob 
the car. At the first stoppage Frank ran around to the 
side, seized the baggageman by the leg and pulled him 
out of the car. They then commenced firing into the 
car and the express man opened the door. They went 
in and robbed the car. All this took about half an 
hour. We got $126 and some cents apiece. Jesse said 
the conductor started to draw his pistol and he (Jesse) 
told him if he drew it he would kill him. He did not 
desist, and was shot. Jesse did not know the con- 
ductor. There is no truth in the story that Jesse 
killed him because he supposed he (the conductor) had 

313 Clarence Mite's Confession. 

carried Pinkerton's detectives out to his mother's (Mrs, 
Samuels) house. The stonemason was shot acciden- 

We were about a quarter of a mile from the horses 
after robbing the train. We then went to our horses. 
I cut mine loose, leaving a part of the hitch-strap. We 
went across the Hannibal and St. Joseph road between 
Kidder and Hamilton, beyond Ninable, to Crooked 
river. Rode all night. Stopped in a little woods after 
pulling down a fence and going through a field. I 
went to sleep; so did Frank. This was about day- 
light. We staid about an hour, then went across fields 
till we reached Crooked river (Saturday). Jesse and 
Frank said they knew the country. We went down 
the river five or six miles and stopped on a bluff; Dick 
and I bought some bread of a woman. This was about 
lo or II o'clock. Saturday morning the sixteenth, 
about half an hour before sunset, Jesse, Frank and my- 
self went west in the direction or Lawson. Met a man 
named Skidmore in the road, and going on took supper 
at a woman's house. We went then to Lawson. Just 
before reaching there we met several men in the road ; 
said "Good evening" to each other. Went through 
Lawson to about three miles of Mrs. Samuels' ; laid 
down and slept till morning. Next morning went to 
within three or four hundred yards above the house. 
Staid there about a week. While there Will Nicholson 
and Mrs. Samuels furnished us supplies. We would 
go near the house and Johnny Samuels would bring us 
food when near their respective houses. Mrs. Samuels 
came out one night with Nicholson. We divided the 

Clarence Hud's Confession. 313 

plunder the next Monday after the robbery in the little 
woods I have spoken of. We discussed whether we 
would rob the passengers, and decided not to. Jesse 
said he was sorry he had killed the conductor, but 
when he learned that he had brought the train to Mrs. 
Samuels (the time the explosion occurred which shat- 
tered Mrs. Samuels' arm) he said he was glad of it. 
We got the papers regularly. Nicholson and John 
Samuels brought them to us. After breaking camp we 
went to Mrs. Bolton's in Ray county. 

Wood and Dick did not go to Mrs. Samuels', 
They went direct from Mrs. Bolton's to Crooked river. 
We staid at Mrs. Bolton's about three days, and all five 
of us went back then to Mrs. Samuels'. We stopped 
in the woods north of the house about three hundred 
yards. Nicholson and young Samuels still brought us 
food. Dr. and Mrs. Samuels came out to see us. 
When at Mrs. Bolton's we staid in the house in day 
time and in the woods at night. (This is a custom.) 
One night at Bolton's Dick staid at the house, got 
scared at some people riding over the bridge and ran 
out of the house leaving his clothes and pistols. When 
we left Mrs. Samuels' we bought a wagon of her for 
$25 and a set of gear from Nicholson for $18, and drove 
Dick's horse and that of Chas. Ford. He (Chas. Ford) 
had come up from Ray county. 


We then separated and Charlie went to McGraw's 
and got his horse and he, Dick and Wood went over to 
Mrs. Bolton's. Jesse and myself went to Kansas City, 

314 Clarence Hue's Confession. 

and Frank went to Ralston's. I staid at Jesse's house 
two weeks. He staid there all the time. He walked 
out at night and I would go down town at night. 
Jesse's house was east of the fair grounds. It was a 
white one-story house. Don't know the street. It was 
some "avenue." Think it was about the middle of 
the block. It was in the edge of town. One house 
was about thirty feet from it. He was going by the 
name of J. T. Jackson. In about two weeks after 1 
got there he moved to a house near the Woodland 
school house. This was on the north side of the street. 
He went by the same name there. The night before we 
moved to the second house Frank came to the first 
house. A grocer, who has a store just across from a 
butcher shop, forty or fifty yards from the school house, 
east of the fair grounds, hauled the furniture. The 
furniture was new and his wife bought it when she came 
from Kentucky and while she stayed at McBride's. 
Then she went to Colorado Springs, where she boarded 
at a hotel. She had her two children with her. After 
returning she went to keeping house. The little boy 
in Kansas City was called Charlie. Before she moved 
to Kansas City she called him Tim. While at the first 
house they bought groceries of the man that moved 
them to the same, and their meat from the butcher just 
across the street from the grocery. These parties de- 
livered the goods. While at house number two they 
bought meat and groceries from a grocer and butcher 
near Forest avenue, on the north side of Ninth and east 
of Forest. These parties delivered the goods also. 
There was no insurance on household goods. The 

Clarence Mite's Confession, 315 

furniture was poor — not very fine. He (Jesse) called 
his wife Mary. When Frank came he also went up to 
the new house and staid three weeks. Jesse and my- 
self were also there. Jesse's wife did not visit the 
neighbors. After remaining in the new house a week 
Jesse wrote to Charlie to come over to where they sep- 
arated near Independence, which he did in a few days. 
He was then met near Independence by Jesse and 


The object of this meeting was to plan another 
robbery. Charlie then went back home and got Dick 
and my brother, and we were all to meet at the same 
place three or four nights afterward, which we did. 
Six of us went there to rob the Chicago & Alton train. 
That night we came down between Kansas City and 
Independence and staid in the woods. We intended 
to rob the Chicago & Alton train the next night — the 
western bound train, I mean. We would have robbed 
the eastern-bound train, but there were two of them, 
and we did not know which of them had the most 
money. Jesse was our leader here also. The arrange- 
ment was as follows : We were to blockade the 
track with rock and stop the train if possible by waving 
a lantern with a piece of red flannel around it. Jesse 
and myself were to take the north side of the train. 
We were to keep the people from coming out by firing, 
etc. Frank and Dick were to take the south side of 
the train, and Wood and Charlie were to flag the train, 
take out the engineer, make him break open the express 

3i6 Clarence Hite*s Confession. 

car door, and then they, Charlie and Wood, were to 
rob it. This arrangement was carried out on the night 
selected next night. 

When the Chicago & Alton train stopped at 
Blue Cut, Charlie and Wood made the engineer get 
his hammer and knock on the express car door (side 
door), the side Jesse and myself were on. After 
knocking several times the express messenger opened 
the door and jumped out and sat down on the bank. 
Charlie and Wood then went in, but they couldn't find 
the messenger, they supposing that the man who 
jumped out was the baggage man. One of them 
(Charlie and Wood) called out to Jesse that they 
could not find the messenger. Jesse then said: 
"There he sits on the bank with the engineer and fire- 
man. Kill him if he does not get in and open the 

The messenger said: "I am not the messenger." 

Charlie and Wood then covered him with their 
pistols and said: "Get in or we'll kill you." 

The engineer said: "You had better get in. 
They have found you out." 

He then got up and went in, opened the safe and 
I think they made him put the contents in the bag. 
We had a bag for the plunder. They then accused 
him of hiding part of the contents, and Charlie hit him 
over the head with his pistol once or twice and fired it 
off for the purpose of scaring him. He was scared. 
They made a further search and found the messenger's 
pocketbook, containing about $60 (a $50 and a $10 or 
two $5's), and his watch and chain. 

Clarence Hite's Confession. 317 

This watch and chain Wood kept, and afterward 
pawned it in Louisville, where it afterward found its 
way into the keeping of Detective Blight, of Louisville, 
after this manner: Wood, when he was arrested for 
killing the new negro, left the pawn ticket on the 
mantlepiece up stairs at home, from which place Silas 
Norris, my father's present father-in-law, w\\o was 
then living wivh us, stole it and gave it to George Hun- 
ter, of Bardstown, Kentucky, who in turn gave it to 
Blight. My father afterward went to Louisville for the 
watch, got it, and Blight presented the ticket about ten 
minutes afterward. He saw my father, told him it was a 
stolen watch, then father gave it up. Wood shot the 
negro on the fence for calling him a horse-thief, etc. 
He did not know my brother heard him, and begged 
hard for his life. 

After Charlie and Wood came out of the car they 
told Jesse they did not have any money. Jesse then 
said: "We had bettor rob the passengers." They 
then started through the train, beginning at the smoker 
and going to the rear. Wood carried the bag (a com- 
mon meal sack). Charlie went in front with a pistol 
in each hand and made the passengers deliver up their 
valuables and put them in the sack. I stood at the 
front door of each car as Charlie and Wood went 
through to prevent their being shot in the back. When 
we reached the chair car Frank got on. He did not 
go through the car, however. Everybody was badly 
scared. As we were coming back through the sleeper 
Charlie found a bottle of wine and took a drink. We 
also got some cake out of a basket. We got five 

3i8 Clarence Hite' s Confession. 

watches, including the expressman's. Wood took the 
one which I have spoken of. Charlie Ford got two, 
one a fine gold one and chain (English make) and a 
silver one. I got a silver one and Jesse got the con- 
ductor's, a nickel, open-faced, stem-winder. We set- 
tled the division of jewelry as follows : Each article 
was sold to the highest bidder, and this bid was put in 
as so much cash and then the cash divided equally. 
Frank in this way got a set of Mexican jewelry. To 
go back a little. After we got through searching the 
passengers, Jesse came into the sleeper from the rear, 
and told the porter if he didn't hunt up all the money 
that was hid he'd kill him. The porter said he hadn't 
hid any, that they had gotten it all. Jesse then went 
to the first seat, turned it up and got about $60 and a 
gold watch. He then went to a brakeman and told 
him the same thing. The brakeman said "I gave you 
50 cents — all I had." Jesse then gave him $1 or $1.50, 
saying: "This is principal and interest on your 

We then released the prisoners, and waited until 
they had removed the obstructions, shook hands with 
the engineer and fireman, and the train moved on. We 
all then went north of the road, about half a mile, in a 
big bottom and divided the proceeds as I have said. 
Each man's share was estimat(^d to be worth about 

Jesse in this robbery had a pair of pistols, a 45 
Colt and a 44 Smith & Wesson, and a breach-loading 
shotgun of smaller calibre than No. 10. He had a 
cartridge belt for his buckshot cartridges. He had 

Clarence Hite' s Confession. 319 

about thirty of these cartridges. This belt had a sup- 
porting strap over the shoulders. Had also two 
cartridge belts for pistols. Frank had a pair of 44 
Remingtons and a Winchester rifle and two cartridge 
belts. The same cartridges fit both pistols and rifle. 
Dick had a breech-loading shotgun, which two convicts 
escaping from the penitentiary took from a guard and 
^traded to Bill Ryan for two suits of clothes, who in 
turn traded it to Dick Liddil for a horse. Dick also 
had a pair of Colt's of 45-caliber and two cartridge 
belts. He carried his gun cartridges in his pocket. 
Charlie had one 44 Remington and 44 Smith & Wes- 
son and two belts. Wood had one 44 Remington, a 
Winchester and two belts. I had two pistols, one 44 
Smith & Wesson and one 45 Colt's and two belts. Be- 
fore we got there (Blue Cut) I swapped my arms for 

After dividing, Jesse, Charlie, Frank and myself 
went through the fields, passed through the edge of In- 
dependence, struck the Missouri Pacific track near In- 
dependence and walked down it four or five miles, left 
it and crossed the Chicago and Alton track, and crossed 
the Blue at the bridge on Independence avenue, and 
continued on the road to Kansas City. All of us went 
to Jesse's house. We were just in the edge of the city 
when the heavy rain came up. Dick and Wood tried 
to cross at Blue Mills, but found officers guarding it. 
They went up the river, separated, and Wood crossed 
somewhere and went to Mrs. Bolton's. Dick went to 
one of the Hudspeths'. He also staid one night at the 
house of some one who was mother to the girl that went 

320 Clarence Hite^ s Confession. 

to Oregon with the man that murdered some one [the 
wife of Bud Thomas, hanged in Oregon]. In a few 
days he crossed the river at Lexington and went to Mrs. 
Bolton's. Charlie, next day after the robbing, took 
the train at Kansas City and went home to Ray county. 
Frank and myself staid in the house for two or three 
weeks. Frank and his wife and child, who had with- 
in the last two or three days returned from Cal- 
ifornia, where they had been visiting their brother, 
young Sam Ralston, then went over to Mrs. Samuels' 
in a buggy hii-ed of some liverymen in Kansas City. 
Charlie, in a day or two,- drove the buggy and horse 
back. He stayed at Jesse's a day or two and then went 
back to Mrs. Samuels'. He stayed there a day or two 
and then came back to Kansas City. Then he went 
home to Ray county. Frank drove over to his 
mother's Sunday evening, and I left for the same place 
on the train next evening; walked out from Kearney. 
I staid there four days, Frank and I then rode down 
to Mrs. Bolton's. I rode Charlie's horse and Frank 
rode John Samuels'. We staid there two days, having 
arrived Friday night and leaving Sunday night. Took 
the Wabash train at Richmond and Lexington junction 
for Danville, Illinois, and from thence to Indianapolis, 
Indiana. Frank, Charlie and myself were together. 
Charlie and Frank went to Cincinnati, Ohio, and I 
went home. Have been there ever since till arrested. 
Don't know what became of Frank's wife. Frank said he 
was going to Covington or Cincinnati and rent a house 
and Charlie and myself were to stay with him. 










^I|' ' 

? ■ • ■ 

From photograph taken in 1S71, 

Clarence Hue's Confession. 321 



W^ About the middle of October, 188 1, Frank wrote 
me a letter, mailed at Samuels' depot, Nelson county, 
Kentucky, and dated there, which read about as fol- 
lows : 

! "I will be at your house on (some stated date). 

Respectfully, Joe." 

This letter was addressed to Clarence B. Hite, 
Adairsville, Kentucky, and meant: "Meet me at 

I Doney Pence's or Mr. Sears', Nelson county Ken- 

i tucky." 

I replied that I was sick and could not come. I 
wrote in this way in order to have an excuse for not 

, going. I directed this letter to "Joe," and signed my 
name. "Joe" inclosed it in an envelope, and mailed 
it, without explanation, to Dony Pence, Samuels' depot, 
Kentucky. Pence would understand what to do with 

I the letter. A few days afterwards Frank wrote me 
another letter expressing regrets at my illness. This 
was the last I ever heard from him (Frank) or his wife, 

; directly or indirectly. Have never heard from Charley 

I since this last letter was written. I have never seen 
Jesse nor his wife since the day I left Kansas City for 
Mrs. Samuels', as I have above stated. 

When I left he (Jesse) walked with me west on 
Ninth street to a little church on the northeast corner of 

J Ninth street and Lydia avenue, Kansas City. We 

I . shook hands and parted. I have heard from him, how- 
ever, since. About two months after I left Kentucky 

323 Clarence Hue's Confession. 

and about one week before Johnnie Samuels was shot 
Jesse wrote me a letter. It was postmarked Kearney, 
Missouri, but I think was written in Kansas City. The 
envelope inclosing this letter was directed to Miss Nan- 
nie Mimms, Adairsville, Kentucky. He said in sub- 
stance that I had better leave home; Dick was in with 
the detectives and they would soon take me away. He 
wanted me to come to him, and said I could go either 
to Tom Mimms', of Kansas City, or to his mother's 
and find out where he was. This letter began "Dear 
Jeff," and was signed John Samuels. I answered this 
letter in three or four days, and directed it to Tom 
Mimms, Kansas City, and on the inside I wrote in sub- 
stance, after giving date and my address, that I could 
not leave home, that I did not consider myself in dan- 
ger, etc. ; to write again in about two weeks if he did 
not hear from me. I signed myself "Clarence Browler" 
(my first two names) and commenced it with "Dear 
Tom," and at the top wrote "Please deliver." Mimms 
would understand by this that the letter was for Jesee 
James. This was the last I ever heard of him, directly 
or indirectly. I received this last letter during Christ- 
mas. I omitted to state that I received another letter 
from Jesse about one month prior to this one above de- 
scribed. It was mailed at Kearney, Missouri, and ad- 
dressed to Miss Nannie Mimms, Adairsville, Kentucky. 
It began "Dear Jeff," and was signed "John Samuels." 
It stated, in substance, that he was getting lonesome 
and wanted me to come out and live with him. He 
asked me all about Wood's scrape with the negro, and 
all about the family. He told me to address my ans- 

Clarence Hite's Confession. 323 

wer to John Samuels and he would deliver it. T ans- 
wered this, also, and addressed the envelope to "John 
Samuels, Kearney, Missouri," and signed my name 
"Clarence Browder." I told him, in substance, that 
my business was of such a nature that I could not leave 
home very well; that I was in business, and that if I 
left I might not be able to get back into it again, that I 
could not come. I am perfectly familiar with Jesse's 
and Frank's handwriting and also their mode of com- 
municating with their friends, and the foregoing are 
samples. When letters are written to any members of 
thd gang in Clay county, Missouri, the envelopes are 
addressed to "John Samuels, Kearney, Missouri," and 
he delivers them. When written to any of them in 
Jackson county, Missouri, they are addressed to "Tom 
Mimms, Kansas City, Missouri." When written to 
any member in Logan county, Kentucky, they are ad- 
^dressed to "Miss Nannie Mimms, Adairsville, Ken- 
tucky." When written to any of them in Nelson county, 
Kentucky, they are addressed to Donny Pence, Sam- 
uels' depot. 

These parties are all firm friends of the fraternity, 
harbor and give them information. 

To resume; my brother and Dick left Mrs. Bol- 
ton's in Ray county, Missouri, about two week before 
I left Missouri for Kentucky and came to my father's 
house. Wood and Dick had a shooting scrape about 
one week after they arrived and Dick left, leaving his 
baggage and cartridge belt. He came back to Mrs. 
Bolton's in Ray county in just a few days before Frank, 
.^ Charlie and myself left for Kentucky. I have never 

324 Clarence Hite^s Confession. 

seen nor heard from him since. Wood, about one, 
month after reaching home, shot the negro, and about 
ten .days afterward was arrested, made his escape and 
left, saying we would never see him again, Since the 
Blue cut robbery Jesse nor Frank have not been at our 

* * *»* * * * * * 

Jesse killed Ed Miller. He killed him in Jack- 
son or Lafayette counties last spring was a year ago. 
They were in a fuss about stopping to get some to- 
bacco, and after riding for some distance, Ed shot at 
Jesse and shot a hole through his hat and then Jesse 
turned and shot him off his horse. The young fellows 
now in jail charged with being in the Blue Cut robbery, 
I have never seen. They were not in the robbery. 
The watch I got out of the Blue Cut robbery is at home. 
Just before I was arrested I hid it between the bed ticks. 
The fine gold watch Charlie got he traded to Dick 
Liddil, The silver watch he left at home when he 
went east with us. Frank gave the jewlery to his wife 
that he got out of the Blue Cut robbeiy. No jewelry 
came out of the Winston robbery. Jesse, Dick and 
Bill Ryan all told me that last spring a year ago they 
met four officers in Jackson county and rode by with 
drawn pistols. Not a word was spoken. 

Jesse said last summer if he only knew on what 
train Governor Crittenden was he would take him off 
and hold him for a ransom — thought he could get about 
$25,000. Clarence B. Hite. 


"I hereby certify that tlie above is the only late photo- 
graph of my deceased husband, taken before death." Mrs. 
Jesse W. James. [From photo loaned by Howard Huselton, 
Kansas City.] 


"JAMES gang:" 

For several years prior to the civil war, there 
existed a border warfare between what was known as 
the Kansas Jayhawkers and the Missouri Bushwackers. 
This trouble was principally along the state line just 
south of Kansas City. The Jayhawkers were first 
organized for the purpose of capturing negro slaves in 
Missouri and taking them into Kansas; the Missouri 
forces were organized to meet the raids these men were 
making and the fight soon became very bitter. I'he 
Kansas men eventually begun to rob and plunder and 
the Missouri men quickly took to retaliatory measures. 

It was the custom in those days for freighters to 
haul goods from Independence, Westport, and other 
western Missouri towns, by ox wagons, to Fort Kearney, 
Denver, Santa Fe, and other points in the west. A man 
named George Quantrell and his brother were engaged 
as freighters across the plains. They were attacked by 
^this Kansas band of free-booters. George Quantrell's 
brother was killed, and he himself left for dead. 

For the purpose of revenge, Quantrell, after recov- 
ering, joined this band of Kansas Jay Hawkers. He 
induced three of their number to come with him to 
Jackson county, Missouri, to the farm of a rich old man 

326 Historical Sketch. 

named Morgan Walker. Their visit was for the pur- 
pose of stealing money from old man Walker, taking 
his mules and also taking his negroes to Kansas. This 
was about the beginning of the war. Quantrell betrayed 
these men, who were said to be the very men who mur- 
dered his brother. When the three went to the house 
of old man Walker, having been previously apprised of 
their coming. Walker and his neighbors fired upon 
them, killing one of them dead in the yard, two of them 
escaping, one being badly wounded. All search for 
them was unavailing for several days, when, as a negro 
drove down into the woods with an ox team, he saw 
one of the Jay Hawkers watching his wounded compan- 
ion. He immediately raised the alarm. Quantrell, old 
man Walker and others went at once to the spot. Old 
man Walker was a splendid shot with a squirrel rifle 
and could knock a squirrel's head off every time, it was 
said. As the old man approached with his glasses on 
and his rifle in his hand, the well Jay Hawker ran 
through the woods, and looking back, the old man shot 
him in the forehead, killing him dead. George 
Quantrell went up and killed the wounded man. Thi^ 
occurrence actually took place. 

Quantrell was born in Ohio and his father, before 
the war, was a union man. It was the killing of his 
brother by the Kansas men that brought the terrible 
revenge he and his band afterward visited upon them. 
He was, in contrast with most of the men who joined 
his band, an educated and rather refined man. 

The war was now on and Quantrell remained in 
Jackson county, espousing the southern cause. He 

Historical Sketch. 32^ 

raised a company of guerillas in Jackson, Clay, Lafay- 
ette and Cass counties, and became thereafter one of 
the most famous guerillas in the world's history. 

George Quantrell was killed, it is said, in Ken- 
tucky, toward the close of the war. 

This band was recruited among young boys very 
largely, many of whom were from good families. Some 
went into it perhaps from their sympathies, or the 
promptings of a vicious nature, but there is no doubt 
that a majoi'ity were from families who had suffered 
from the outrages that had been committed by the Kan- 
sas men and felt that they had a just cause for revenge. 

Among these young men who joined this band 
were the James boys and the Younger boys. We will 
remember Cole Younger as he was in those days, a 
broad-shouldered, splendid looking fellow, and while 
he became an out-law and of course a bad man, he 
was in olir opinion the best of all the Jameses and 
Youngers. Bob Younger was too young to be in the 
war. Cole Younger was a man highly respected in 
his neighborhood, and up to the time he joined the 
band there was not a blot on his character. He was 
one of the young men who felt that he had a wrong to 
avenge in the death of his father, who was killed and 
robbed by Kansas soldiers, not far from his home. He 
was not killed for his sympathies, for he was a Union 
man but for robbery only. The very fact that his 
father, who was a most excellent man, and numbered 
among the best citizens in the whole community, 
should be so foully murdered by men who claimed to 
be union soldiers, when his father had so gallantly 

328 Historical Sketch. 

stuck to the union, and to his principles himself, 
although this side was in the insignificent minority in 
his neighborhood, and he was standing almost alone in 
his views. We do not believe that Cole Younger had 
any of the natural viciousness that characterized many 
of those men who, after the war, became out-laws. 
There is not a trace of it in his face. We believe that 
had George Quantrell never existed, he might to-day 
be holding most any office in his native county. The 
conduct of the Younger boys since being confined in 
the penitentiary at Stillwater, Minnesota, bears us out in 
the above statement, as they have at times been 
allowed to go as "trustys," going in and out as they 
pleased, and no men of a naturally desperate character 
or criminal instinct would have demeaned themselves 
as these men have done. This is not said in exten- 
uation of what these men have done, for we have 
never recognized anything as heroic in their ex- 
ploits, and their is nothing in the conduct of this or 
any other band of plunderers to be emulated by the 
youth of the country, or to excite the admiration of 
anybody. I believe the Younger boys would now say 
the same thing. 

The Younger boys were finally captured at North- 
field, Minnesota, on September 7, 1876. 

The story of their terrible disaster at Northfield 
was a number of times related to by Dick Liddil, who 
said he obtained it from frequent conversations with 
Jesse James. It was as follows: 

A fellow named Bill Chadwell, who had recently 
joined the band, claimed that he knew of a town named 

Historical Sketch. 329 

Northfield, in Minnesota, where there was a bank in 
which a large amount of cash was always kept. With 
Chadwell as their guide the band went to Northfield 
on horseback, starting from Fort Osage township, in 
Jackson county, Missouri. There were eight members 
of this band — the three Youngers, Cole, Jim and Bob ; 
the two James, Jesse and Frank, and Clell Miller, Bill 
Chadwell and Charlie Pitts, The true name of the 
latter was Sam Wells, We knew him well and were 
raised in the same neighborhood with him. 

The tragedy at Northfield was a terrible one. The 
cashier of the bank refusing to give up his money was 
shot. The alarm was given, and the citizens of the 
town seizing their guns fired upon the robbers. Bill 
Chadwell and Clell Miller were shot dead upon the 
spot. Dick Liddil says that Jesse James claimed that 
one of their number shot Chadwell, believing that he 
had betrayed them, but the citizens seemed to 
think they killed him. Every one of the robbers, 
except possibly one of the Jameses was wounded, 
those being the least wounded taking their other 
comrades behind them on horseback and fleeing 
from the town. In their flight a Swede named Gus- 
tavason was killed. The people about Northfield for 
miles around congregated and joined in the chase. The 
James boys wanted to kill Bob Younger, who was too 
badly wounded to travel, but upon Cole's refusing to 
permit this the Jameses and Youngers parted. The 
wounded one of the James boys being hauled by his 
brother through the state of Iowa, western Nebraska, 
down to Missouri in a two-horse wagon. The 

330 Historical Sketch. 

wounded man stopped at a house between Kansas 
City, Missouri, and Independence. 

The three Youngers and Charlie Pitts (Sam 
Wells) were surrounded by citizens in Minnesota, 
when a terrific fight ensued. All of the Youngers 
being further wounded and Sam Wells being shot dead. 
The Youngers were placed in the Minnesota peniten- 
tiary for life. 

Frank and Jesse James were born near Kearney, 
in Clay county, Msssouri. Frank was born in January, 
1843, and was described by Dick Liddil, before 
Flank's surrender as follows: "Generally dresses in 
dark clothes — long coat, and when on a raid wears 
black slouch hat. When settled down he wears a 
derby hat or stovepipe. He wears a gold watch chain 
with large and small links. It is a vest chain, with a 
compass for a charm, which is suspended by a chain 
about three inches. When he wears a black stock he 
adorns it with a diamond pin, the stone of which is 
about as large as a grain of corn and when he does 
not use the stock he wears the pin in his shirt front. 
He also wears a diamond ring on his left little finger, 
with three stones in a row the central one being the 
largest. Wears generally box-toed boots. He is very 
thin through the temples. Eyebrows are medium 
heavy ; eyes are rather deep set and have a wrinkle over 
them. Large mouth with scar on both sides of it, 
where he was either shot or his gun kicked him ; these 
scars are in each corner. Chews a great deal of 
tobacco. Doesn't smoke much. Drinks freely. Fre- 
quents gambling halls and is a good poker-player. 

tlisto rical Sketch . 331 

Walks like a string-halted horse. Wears black over- 
coat generally. He wears a pair of nickel-plated Rem- 
ington pistols, caliber 44, single action. He wears 
number seven boot and fourteen and one-half collar. 
Has a bullet hole through right leg above the knee." 

Jesse James was born in 1S48 and is described by 
Dick as follows: — "Height five feet ten and one half 
inches, weight one hundred and eighty-five pounds, 
eyes blue, complexion light, snaps his eyes when talk- 
ing, they are large. Wears seven and one-eighth hat 
and number eight boot. Nose short and turned up at 
the end. Round features, fleshy face. Hair is dyed 
black. Whiskers sandy and worn all over the face 
about two inches long, at least they were so on New 
Year's day, 18S2. The first joint of third finger on left 
hand is gone. There are two bullet holes about three 
inches apart near the right nipple. Is bow-legged and 
steps very quickly. Is very graceful rider. Walks 
and rides erect, rides with long stirrup. He is a great 
horse thief. Has two suits of clothes, one a light 
colored coarse goods, sack coat, etc. Either wears a 
derby or stove pipe hat. When on a raid dresses very 
common, dark calico shirt and ducking overalls, pants 
in boots. Has white smooth hands, wears gloves." 

The band taken as a whole existed from the Lib- 
erty Bank robbery at Liberty, Missouri, 1866, to the 
surrender of Frank James October 5, 1S82. There 
were in all during its whole career twenty one men in 
this band. As a man was killed another man was 
recruited, until its final downfall. Of this twenty-one 
men all are now dead except Frank James, living in St. 


Historical Sketch. 

Louis; Dick Liddil, running a string of race horses in 
the northern states ; Jim Cummings, farming in Arkan- 
sas; Tucker Basham, farming in Kansas and Cole and 
Jim Younger in penitentiary at Stillwater, Minnesota. 
It is not known what has become of Bill Ryan. Out of 
the fifteen members of the band not here accounted 
for, all but one met a violent death, and many of them 
were killed by members of the band. Clarence Hite 
died from consumption in three days after having been 
pardoned out of the Missouri Penitentiary. 

The following are some of the robberies attributed 
to this band with the tragic results attendant upon their 
perpetration. The amounts of money obtained on each 
occasion are variously estimated and can not here be 
definitely stated It may be said, however, that in all 
the published accounts in the last ten or fifteen years 
the amounts of money obtained by them have been 
greatly exaggerated. The following is a list of their 
principal robberies: 

Liberty, Missouri, bank robbery, February 14, 
1866; Young Wymore, about sixteen years of age, 

Lexington, Missouri, bank robbery, October- 30, 

Savannah, Missouri, bank robbery, attempted, and 
Judge McLain, cashier, wounded, March 2, 1S67. 

Richmond, Missouri, bank robbery. May 23, 1867; 
Mayor Shaw, B. G. Griffin and son, citizens of Rich- 
mond, killed. 

Russellville, Kentucky, bank robbery, March, 
1868; Mr. Long, cashier, and Mr. Owens, a citizen, 

Historical Sketch. 


Gallatin, Missouri, bank robbery, December 7, 
1869; John W. Sheets, cashier, killed. 

Corydon, Iowa, bank robbery, June 3, 187 1. 

Columbus, Kentucky, bank robbery, April 29, 
1872 ; cashier killed. 

Kansas City fair robbery, September 26, 1872. 

St. Genevieve, Missouri, bank robbery, May, 1872 

Robbery of Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific 
train in Adair county, Iowa, July 21, 1873; train de- 
railed and engineer killed. 

Gad's Hill, Missouri, train robbery, February, 
1874; express car and passengers robbed. 

Muncie, Kansas, train robbery, December 13, 

Huntington, West Virginia, bank robbery, Sep- 
tember I, 1875. 

Missouri Pacific train robbery at Otterville, Mis- 
souri, July 7, 1876. 

Northfield, Minnesota, bank robbery, September 
7, 1876. 

The following are some of the principal robberies 
by the band as reorganized by Jesse James after the at- 
tempted Northfield robbery: 

Glendale train robbery in Jackson county, Mis- 
souri, on Chicago & Alton railroad, October 7, 1879. 
Committed by Jesse James, Ed Miller, Wood Hite, 
Bill Ryan, Dick Liddil and Tucker Basham. Frank 
James was not in this robbery. 

Winston train robbery, on Chicago, Rock Is- 
land & Pacific railroad, July, 5, 1881 ; Conductor 
Westfall and Frank McMillan, railroad laborer, killed. 

334 Historical Sketch. 

Committed by Jesse and Frank James, Wood and 
Clarence Hite and Dick Liddil. 

Blue Cut robbery in Jackson county, Missouri, on 
Chicago & Alton railroad, September, 7, 1881, com- 
mitted by Frank and Jesse James, Wood and Clarence 
Hite, Dick Liddil and Charlie Ford. 

Mussell Shoals, Alabama, robbery, March, 1881. 
U. S. Paymaster Smith robbed of $5,200. Committed 
by Jesse and Frank James, Dick Liddil and Bill Ryan. 

Many of the friends of the James and Youngers 
have claimed that their depredations after the war, 
were committed in pursuance of a kind of just revenge, 
and that Union men and United States government 
property were the objects of this revenge. The records 
show this claim to be absolutely without any founda- 

The records show that with the exception of the 
attempted robbery of the bank of Northfield, Minnesota, 
about every bank ever robbed by them was in a southern 
state, the stock and deposits of which constituted the 
property of southern people. In their different raids 
they took a good horse from a southern man as readily 
as from a northern man. Probably five sixths of all the 
money they ever obtained was from banks. In several of 
the bank robberies above mentioned more money was ob- 
tained than in the Blue Cut, Glendale and Winston train 
robberies all combined. These train robberies can not be 
said to have been committed from any motive of just 
revenge as they can not be taken to be the property of 
any southern or northern man. 

Historical Sketch. 335 

It will thus be seen that the charge that has been 
disseminated throughout the length and breadth of the 
United States to the effect that the James and Youngers 
confined their depredations to northern men is also 
totally without foundation. The truth is that their 
depredations sprung from no motive of revenge or out- 
rages upon their families nor from any political or sec- 
tional cause whatever. So that both the charges of 
their enemies and their friends in this behalf are alike 
without foundation. 


After the Liberty Bank robbery the James boys 
became outlaws and were hunted by the officers. 
Many good men and brave officers met their death 
trying to capture this daring band of desperadoes, who 
had taken a solemn oath never to be taken alive. But 
their cunning, the aid of their many friends, and their 
bold and audacious conduct, made their capture the 
most difficult task ever undertaken by officers or detec- 
tives. It is said that the Pinkerton Detective Agency 
lost five men trying to capture the James boys. Many 
posses were sent out in pursuit of them and raids were 
frequently made, but somehow they always managed 
to escape. As to how cautious they were is illustrated 
by the fact that they had an established rule that when 
in a country where there was any danger of a raid they 
slept in the woods at night. If any special danger they 
had one man on guard while the others slept. If 
traveling through a country where known they traveled 
at night. Another great difficulty in capturing these 

336 Historical Sketch. 

desperadoes was the want of an accurate description, 
which the officers could not obtain, as it will be borne 
in mind that they went into the war when boys, and 
were never known to any community after that and 
when grown to manhood and had lead such lives as 
they did, their appearance would naturally be greatly 
changed, to say nothing of their constant disguise. 
Their communication was conducted in such a way 
that no clue could be gained from this source. They 
never addressed a letter to each other but always sent 
them indirectly and they were generally written in a 
kind of code language adopted by them. The follow- 
ing will afford an interesting specimen of their corres- 
pondence and is copied from the original letter, which 
is one written by Jesse James to one of the other mem- 
bers of the gang. It is as follows : 

"St. Joseph." 

"Dear Bro. , cum quick beeves fat 20000 cwt. 
must be slumped Piatt City O. K. -49-83-61 Bob will 
meet you grounded mother at home Kan. no good. 

Bro. " 

Of course there were many people who knew them 
and saw them frequently, but these people were their 
friends and nothing ever escaped their lips. There 
were some people, doubtless, who knew them and 
knew something of their whereabouts and would have 
informed the officers if they had dared, but they well 
knew that it meant death for them if it should ever be 
known that they told. Several people were killed by 
the band for this very cause. They had terrorized 
their family neighbors and many officers, and that 


Mother of Frank and Jesse James. [From photograph 
taken at the Samuels home near Kearnej, Missouri, October 
1897, by Howard Huselton, of Kansas Citv, Missouri.] 

Historical Sketch. 337 

officer is certainly a brave man who would darr to face 
these desperate and blood-thirsty creatures, after read- 
ing of the horrible death of the Pinkerton Detective 
who was tied on the back of a horse and tortured before 
he was finally killed. But there were brave men and 
they made earnest efforts to catch these outlaws. 

The Glendale train robbery took place in Jackson 
county, Missouri, during the political campaign in the 
fall of 1879, and Mr. Wm. H. Wallace who was a can- 
didate for the office of prosecuting attorney stumped 
the county denouncing the "James gang" and 
pledging himself to do all in his power to break up 
the gang and was elected. He was perhaps the first 
man to go among the friends of the James boys and 
openly denounce them. Tucker Basham had been 
caught, made a confession, pleaded guilty to participa- 
tion in the Glendale robbery, and was sent to the 
Penitentiary from Jackson county. 

In March 1880, Bill Ryan was captured just east 
of Nashville, Tennessee and brought back to Jackson 

The facts attending this arrest, stated in brief, are 
as follows: 

A man neatly dressed, riding a splendid horse, and 
earring two revolvers, had become engaged in a contro- 
versy and assaulted a man near Nashville, Tennessee. 
A man named Earthman came up behind this man, 
threw his arms around him to prevent his shooting, 
and he was thus taken in charge. He was somewhat 
intoxicated and declared that he was a desperado and 


338 Historical Sketch, 

an outlaw, and that his name was Tom Hill. Upon 
being searched it was found that he had two revolvers 
and wore a buckskin waistcoat next to his person, in 
which vi^as contained something like one thousand dol- 
lars in gold coins. 

The following is a graphic description of the trial 
of Bill Ryan as related by Mr. Wallace: 

"The next thing was to convict the prisoner. No 
train robber had ever been tried by a jury in Missouri 
and it was generally believed that no jury in Missouri 
would dare to convict one of the James boys. I in- 
formed the officials of the Chicago & Alton Railroad 
company that Ryan was now in custody, charged with 
robbing one of their trains at Glendale, October 7, 
1879, and that I wished them to send all the train men 
to the trial at Independence. 

"One of their agents told me that after full consul- 
tation about the matter the railroad officials requested 
that I should not insist upon the railroad or its train 
men having anything to do with the trial ; that one of 
the James boys could not be convicted by a Missouri 
jury, and that if they did anything in the matter it 
would simply anger the James boys against their rail- 
road and cause them to single their road out for other 

"I insisted upon their sending the train men, which 
they did, but when they reached the trial at Indepen- 
dence and saw the complexion of the crowd formed in 
the courthouse, they said they could swear nothing, and 
importuned me to release them from testifying, which 
I did. 

Historical Sketch. 339 

"I proved the fact that there was a robbery, by Mr. 
Grimes, the express messenger, who was knocked 
senseless by one of the robbers, and of course, knew 
nothing except that about nine thousand dollars was 
taken from his safe. 

"In anticipation of the fact that the state would 
lack evidence, I had suggested to Governor Crittenden 
that it would be wise to pardon a green fellow named 
Tucker Basham, then in the penitentiary, and let him 
testify against Ryan, who was a shrewd and bold mem- 
ber of the gang. This the govenor consented to do. 
Whig Keshlear and Captain Maurice Langhorne, then 
deputy marshals, had arrested Basham because of the 
sudden and lavish expenditure of money he was mak- 
ing and on account of certain admissions which had 
fallen from his lips. 

"Mr. Peak, then prosecuting attorney, had had an 
indictment preferred against him, and Langhorne and 
Keshlear obtained a full confession from him, and he 
plead guilty. Hayes, brother of Up Hayes, a confed- 
erate colonel, brought Basham from the penitentiary 
in Jefferson City and kept him constantly under guard 
during the whole trial to prevent his assassination, I 
myself holding his pardon in my pocket until just in 
the act of placing him on the witness stand, when I 
handed it to hina in full view of the jury, stating to the 
court that this made the full release of Basham, and 
that I had promised him the pardon, through the gov- 
ernor, in the event of his willingness to testify in the 

340 Historical Sketch. 

"The friends of Bill Ryan were so incensed at the 
appearance of Basham at Independence that they set 
fire to his house, an old log cabin, in the Cracker Neck 
country, and when the oak floor refused to burn they 
took the family effects out into the yard, placed them 
in a pile and burned them up. Basham fled a short 
time after the trial, imploring me to go with him, 
stating that there was no question that both he and I 
were to be killed. I took the precaution of taking him 
to a photographer and having his photograph taken, 
telling him that I intended to bring him back as a wit- 
ness in case another of the James boys was ever on 
trial. I never saw him afterwards. 

"I shall never forget the Bill Ryan trial. It was by 
all odds the most exciting trial I have ever witness and, 
I believe, the most exciting ever had in the west. 

"The excitement attending it was ten-fold greater 
than the excitement at the Frank James trial at Galla- 
tin, Missouri. The Frank James trial was a set and 
thoroughly arranged proceeding for which both sides 
had been preparing for more than a year. James had 
the most eminent lawyers in the west present with 
thoroughly prepared and magnificent speeches to de- 
liver in his behalf. 

"The Bill Ryan trial was a pell mell encounter be- 
tween the poorly organized forces of the law and 
thoroughly organized and defined forces of outlawry. 
Magnificient counsel represented Ryan — Captain 
Franklin, for many years a congressman from this dis- 
trict; Hon. R. L. Yeager and Major B. L. Woodson. 
It was a test case. The banner of the law was pitted 

Historical Sketch. 341 

for the first time against the mask and the black flag of 
the bandit. The friends of the outlaw band, backed by 
two or three daily newspapers, were certain that these 
men were being mistreated and had a right to do what- 
ever they had done and that one of them ought not to 
be, and could not be convicted by a Missouri jury. 

"I had been to Nashville, Tennessee, and brought a 
large number of witnesses from there, but, of course, 
they knew nothing of Ryan's connection with the rob- 
bery, and aside from the testimony of a young man 
named Miller, who testified that on the night of the 
robbery several men passed by his house on horseback 
and that he recognized the voice of one of them as the 
voice of Ryan. I practically had no testimony except 
that of Tucker Basham, who was about as good ma- 
terial as an expert cross-examiner could wish to get 
hold of. The court room was packed from sunrise to 
sundown with the friends of the outlaw band, armed to 
the teeth. Many of them staying all night in the court 
house and the court house yard so that they could get 
seats when the trial commenced. 

"It is safe to say that the crowd in the court house 
stood twenty-five for the defendant to one for the state. 
The balance of the James gang were then in close 
proximity to Independence, and I knew it. Dick Lid- 
(lil afterwards told me that the rescue of the prisoner 
by the assassination of the officers was seriously con- 

"During the Frank James trial at Gallatin, one or 
more of his friends who had a wide reputation as 
fighters, openly stated on the streets in the presence of 

343 Historical Sketch. 

many of the most reputable citizens of the town, that 
they intended to kill me before the trial was over, but 
I regarded this as simply bluff and it gave me no un- 
easiness whatever. But when during the Ryan trial 
my assistant, Colonel Southern, a courageous man, and 
myself received a letter which I knew through a de- 
tective then in the cell with Ryan, was sent with his 
approval and threatening that if we did not desist our 
lives were in danger, I confess I was uneasy. It is the 
secret threat that counts. When other threats than 
this came to our ears, and officers of the court who had 
been in the confederate army said to me frankly that 
they thought the probabilities were that I would be 
shot, I confess that I was anxious. But I was into it, 
and as I regarded it, to show the white feather meant 
disgrace for life, and I resolved that both the path of 
duty and safety was to be found by making the very 
boldest fight I could. 

"Bill Ryan was convicted and his punish men 
assessed at twenty-five years in the penitentiary. No 
jury ever sat who were more justly entitled to the 
thanks of the commonwealth than the jury in that case. 
Many of them were thoroughly acquainted in eastern 
Jackson county and they sat facing the friends of the 
accused, who thronged into the court house until the 
more prominent among them occupied nearly every 
seat inside of the bar and were actually in touching dis- 
tance of me when I spoke. 

"Many of these jurors had to go to their homes in 
the very midst of the friends of the defendant. One of 
them, I remember, a brother of ex-Sheriff Hickman, 

Historical Sketch. 343 

lived in the edge of the woods within a few miles of 
the fiinn upon which Bill Ryan was raised. Nor can 
too much praise be given to Cornelius Murphy, the 
marshal who summoned this jury in person. 

"In their motion for a new trial the counsel for the 
defendant laid much stress upon the fact that the gov- 
ernor of the state, hearing of the great excitement ex- 
isting at the trial, had sent a box of guns to Independ- 
ence, and that the jury was thus overawed by the state. 
I believe the guns came but the box was never opened. 
In fact, I never saw one of the guns in the hands of 
anyone, and I am satisfied no one else did, I obtained 
an affidavit from each of the jury to the effect that dur- 
ing the whole trial they were kept together in charge of 
the marshal and that they never heard about the guns be- 
ing shipped to Independence until their verdict had 
been returned, and that they were governed only by the 
law and the evidence in the case." 

The jury which convicted Bill Ryan broke the back- 
bone of outlawry in the state of Missouri. Thousands 
of mouths in Jackson and adjoining counties which had 
been locked by fear were opened, and the denuncia- 
tion of train robbery was open and unstinted. The 
desire to rid Missouri of the stain of outlawry reached 
fever heat, and the officers of the law were greatly en- 
couraged and posses of men began to search in every 
direction for the bandits. 

The depredations of this band had become intolerable 
to the good people. The Glendale robbery had taken 
place October 5, 1879; the Winston robbery July, 15, 
i88i, and the blue Cut, on September 7, 188 1, while 

344 Historical Sketch. 

the trial of Bill Ryan was in progress as if in utter 
defiance of the law. Just after the Winston robbery, 
the governor of Missouri, issued the following procla- 



State of Missouri, "1 
Executive Department. J 

Whereas, It has been made known to me, as the Gov- 
ernor of the State of Missouri, that certain parties, whose 
names are to me unknown have confederated and banded 
themselves together for the purpose of committing robberies 
and other depredations within this State; and 

Whereas, Said parties did, on or about the Eighth day of 
October, 1879, stop a train near Glendale, in the countj' of 
Jackson, in said state, and, w^ith force and violence, take, steal 
and carry away the money and other express matter being 
carried thereon; and 

Whereas, On the fifteenth day of July, 1881, said parties 
and their confederates did stop a train upon the line of the 
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, near Winston, in 
the County of Daviess, in said State, and, with force and 
violence, take, steal, and carry away the money and other 
express matter being carried thereon; and, in perpetration of 
the robbery last aforesaid, the parties engaged therein did kiM 
and murder one William Westfall, the conductor of the 
train, together with one John McMiLLAf<, who was at the 
time in the employ of said company, then on said train; and 

Whereas, Frank James and Jesse W. James stand 
indicted in the Circuit Court of said Daviess County, for the 
murder of John W. Sheets, and the parties engaged in the 

Historical Sketch. 345 

robberies and murders aforesaid have fled from justice and 
have absconded and secreted themselves: 

Now, Therefore, in consideration of the premises, and 
in lieu of all other rewards heretofore offered for the arrest or 
conviction of the parties aforesaid, or either of them, by any 
person or corporation, I, Thomas T. Crittenden, Governor of 
the State of Missouri, do hereby offer a reward of five thousand 
dollars ($5,000.00) for the arrest and conviction of each person 
participating in either of the robberies or murders aforesaid, 
excepting the said Frank James and Jesse W. James; and 
for the arrest and delivery of said 


and each or either of them, to the sheriff of said Daviess 
County, I hereby offer a reward of five thousand dollars, 
($5,000.00), and for the conviction of either of the parties last 
aforesaid of participation in either of the murders or rob- 
beries above mentioned, I hereby offer a further reward of five 
thousand dollars, ($5,000.00). 

In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand 
and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the 
[seal] State of Missouri. Done at the City of Jefferson 

on this 2Sth day of July, A. D., 1881. 

Thos. T. Crittenden." 
By the Governor: 

Mich'l K. McGrath, Sec'y of State." 

This reward was really offered by the rail- 
road companies through the governor ; the compa- 
nies placing sufficient cash in the hands of the gover- 
nor, together with that already authorized by the legis- 
lature, to pay the rewards offered. 

It was but a few weeks after the conviction of Bill 
Ryan until Mattie Collins, the common law wife of 
Dick Liddil came to Whig Keslear, a deputy marshal, 
and told him she desired an interview with Mr. Wallace 

346 Historical Sketch. 

with reference to the surrender of Dick Liddil. She 
said the James boys were greatly discouraged ; that they 
were very suspicious of each other; that Jesse James 
and Dick Liddil had parted company, Jesse threatening 
to kill the latter on sight, and that the officers were pur- 
suing Dick in the oix-mile country, and on several oc- 
casions had barely missed capturing him. 

With Jesse James on one side and the officers on 
the other, Dick Liddil was between the devil and the 
deep sea, and he wanted to give up and tell everything 
that he knew if promised protection. 

Friends of Dick's went to see the governor, who 
promised him immunity if he would come in, and di- 
rected him to surrender to Sheriff Timberlake, of 
Clay county, Missouri. 

While these negotiations were in progress, Dick 
Liddil and Bob Ford killed Wood Hite, as told in 
another part of this volume. Bob Ford was largely 
instrumental in bringing about Dick Liddil's surrender. 
Shortly after Dick's surrender, through the aid of Bob 
Ford, Clarence Hite was located at his father's home 
at Adairsville, Kentucky, and H. H. Craig of Kansas 
City, Sheriff Timberlake of Clay county, Bob Ford 
and Dick Liddil went after him ; Bob and Dick going 
out to the house, as did also Ben Jeter, the marshal of 
Adairsville. This party also expected to capture one 
of the James boys there. Clarence was there and was 
taken without incident. Bob and Dick were kept in 
the back ground on the return trip and Hite never 
knew that they were there until after he had pleaded 
guilty to the Winston train robbery and sent to the pen- 

Historical Sketch, 347 

itentiary for twenty-five years. Jeter was compelled to 
leave Adairsville as his life was in danger from the 
sympathizers of the James boys. He went to Kansas 
City at the invitation of Police Commissioner Craig and 
was given a position on the police force in that city. 

Shortly after the trip to Kentucky Bob Ford 
informed Sheriff Timberlake and Mr. Craig, that Jesse 
James and Charlie Ford were in that part of the coun- 
try and that in all probability Charlie would visit his 
uncle's at some time during their" stay. Mr. Craig sent 
to Mr. Ford's house two of the bravest officers on the 
Kansas City police force, with Dick Liddil ; and Sheriff 
Timberlake sent two of his best deputies. Bob Ford 
was already there. These men stayed at the Ford 
house for several days, when the Governor wanted to 
see Liddil, who was sent to Jefferson City. Court con- 
vened at Liberty and Sheriff Timberlake found need 
for his deputies, and the party was withdrawn, leaving 
Bob Ford alone. In a day or two after these men left 
Jesse James and Charlie Ford came up and called Bob 
out. They wanted him to go with them to do a job. 
After a hurried conversation Bob went in the house 
and told his uncle to tell Timberlake he had gone with 
Jesse James and as soon as he got a chance he would 
let him know where they were located, and if they did 
not hear from him in ten days they would know he had 
been killed. It was the plan of this twenty year old 
boy, concocted on the spur of the moment. He went 
to St. Joseph, Missouri, with Jesse, but did not get a 
chance to notify Timberlake. There was no thought 
on the part of Ford or anyone interested in the plan, of 

348 Historical Sketch. 

killing Jesse, when Ford left with him. As Ford tells 
it the shooting came about in this way. Jesse had 
asked Bob if Liddil had surrendered and Bob told him 
no. On the morning of the shooting Jesse had gotten 
a paper containing the account of Liddil's surrender. 
Ford says he expected Jesse to shoot him right there, 
but thinks he didn't want to do it before his wife and 
children. That they had planned to go to Platte City, 
Missouri, that night to rob the bank and that Jesse 
intended to wait until they got on the road. Ford says 
he embraced the first opportunity to save his own life. 
Frank James surrendered October 5, 1882. Thus 
ended the existence of the most notorious band of out- 
laws that ever existeu in this country. 


The old tahin in which Fi-ank and [e'^sc fames were born. 
Note the rillo port holes at end near the roof. rFri^ni photo- 
o^raph by Howard l!iiseltf)n. Kansas City. J 



'eacidified using the Bookkeeper process 
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide 
Treatment Dale: Dec. 2004 



1 1 1 Thomson Park Onve 
Ctantwrry Township. PA 1606b 
(724) 779-21 1 1